November 20, 2019 / 8:44 AM / 8 months ago

ASIA COPPER WEEK-LME plans to launch several contracts in 2020 -CEO

(Adds further CEO quotes, context)

By Shivani Singh

SHANGHAI, Nov 20 (Reuters) - The London Metal Exchange (LME) plans to launch several contracts next year, including a euro-denominated European hot-rolled coil (HRC) steel contract, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

“There are a lot of areas we are interested in - obviously steel is a successful area for us and we will be doing more on the steel side,” Matthew Chamberlain told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the Asia Copper Conference.

The LME had planned to launch a U.S. dollar-based European HRC in 2019 but market participants wanted it to be euro-denominated, so the LME “stepped back” and is now working on the euro-denominated contract, he said.

The LME is also likely to launch a new lithium contract in the second quarter of 2020, Chamberlain said, after it chose Fastmarkets as the reference price provider in June.

Chamberlain said the lithium contract launch is “likely to be Q2 2020” but will be driven by LME’s and members’ technology time lines.

Besides HRC and lithium, the LME is also looking at launching an aluminium scrap contract, as well as Asian and U.S. steel scrap contracts, Chamberlain said.

He added that industry participants had approached the exchange regarding potential ferrochrome and manganese contracts.

The 142-year-old exchange, a unit of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEX), is keen to work with partners to add warehouses in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer, Chamberlain also said.

“We have floated some ideas and we are working with colleagues in Hong Kong. We want to be a trusted partner for China - that is the whole remit of our group, and as and when China is ready to open up the warehousing, we want to be part of that,” he said.

In May, HKEX Chief Executive Charles Li said the firm was in talks with Guangdong authorities on metals warehousing, a major step toward its long-held ambition to expand in mainland China.

Reporting by Shivani Singh; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Christopher Cushing

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