lme trading ring
The LME intends to offer several new contracts, including one tied to aluminum used beverage container (UBC) trading.
Photo provided by the LME.

LME to introduce UBC-related contract

Commodities exchange says it will offer contract for North American aluminum UBC traders and will add to its ferrous scrap offerings.

August 14, 2020

As part of a wider initiative to what it calls a “transition to sustainable economy,” the London Metal Exchange (LME) says it intends to offer a new aluminum scrap contract to serve the North American used beverage containers (UBC) sector, and it will add two new regional ferrous scrap contracts.

“By supporting these industries in managing their price risk, the LME will assist in the development of the recycled value chain, enabling it to reach ambitious goals while maintaining robust planning and fair pricing,” states the LME.

The new contracts are mentioned in what the LME calls “a discussion paper on plans to drive forward its sustainability agenda.” Parts of the paper are tied to what the LME cites as the growing electric vehicle (EV) sector. The exchange had indicated in June that it intended to expand its sustainability-related contracts.

“Metals are vital to our transition to a more sustainable future, and this paper sets out our vision to work collaboratively with industry to maximize the potential of metals to power this transition,” says Matthew Chamberlain, LME chief executive.

“We already provide access to contracts that are essential both to burgeoning industries such as EVs and to infrastructure supporting the circular economy," he continues. "But we need to do more, both in building out these areas and in supporting the development of the sustainable production of metals. And we are in a strong position, as the global nexus of metals pricing and trading, to bring the industry together, as with our responsible sourcing initiative, in our collective journey to a greener future.”

Pertaining to EVs, the LME says it already provides pricing and risk management tools for a number of key components of EVs and EV batteries (copper, nickel and cobalt). The anticipated launch of an LME lithium contact will add to those offerings.

“Similarly, the LME’s aluminum alloy and steel scrap contracts – as well as some listed lead brands – already service the scrap and recycling industries,” states the exchange.

The LME says aluminum is “pivotal to the sustainable transition due to its use in lightweighting and its recyclability. As such the LME’s first step in supporting the transition to environmentally sustainable metal production will involve providing greater transparency around and access to low carbon aluminum.”

Georgina Hallett, LME chief sustainability officer, says, “We recognize that a lot of valuable work has already been done by individual companies, industry associations, standards bodies and nongovernmental organizations, and we believe it’s vital to work collaboratively to further enable that work.”