LONDON, June 10 (Reuters) - The London Metal Exchange (LME) has chosen Fastmarkets to provide the reference price for its planned lithium futures contract, it said on Monday.
The exchange, the world’s oldest and largest market for industrial metals, said it selected Fastmarkets because their prices were used widely across the industry.
“The LME, together with its advisory group, believe that partnership with a price reporting agency represents the best route to a tradeable contract,” it said in a statement.
The LME, owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. , launched seven new futures contracts in March, but has delayed the launch of a contract for lithium, which is vital for electric vehicle batteries.
In March, the LME said it planned to launch a cash-settled lithium contract in the fourth quarter of this year, but in Monday’s statement in only said that it would continue “to gauge appropriate timing” for a launch.
Opaque pricing for lithium is expected to be a major item on the agenda for industry leaders in Santiago, with calls rising for more transparency to attract funding to expand the market. (Reporting by Eric Onstad Editing by Edmund Blair)