Qianhai Mercantile Exchange (QME), a Chinese commodities trading platform, is working with its sister company, the London Metal Exchange, to launch battery metal contracts.
The bourses, both owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX), are together studying the possibility of offering investors the chance to buy and sell contracts of lithium carbonate, nickel sulphate and cobalt, said Dong Feng, general manager of the QME.
Cobalt, lithium and nickel are the three critical metals used to make batteries for use in electric cars, regarded as the future of transport.
“Battery metals have become a major target for investment and merger,” Dong said at the LME Asia Metals Seminar in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
Demand for the metals has boomed in the last couple of years, driving up their price.
Benchmark prices of lithium in China, for example, doubled during 2022. Dubbed “the new oil” or “white gold” of the new-energy era, lithium in particular has emerged as a critical mineral in China’s competition with the United States.