Fastmarkets has noted a significant lack of liquidity in the three European lead premium markets it assesses, which has led to insufficient data contribution to support the representativeness of it prices.

On top of lackluster spot trading interest, the representativeness of standardized lead purity-based specifications has also been challenged amid growing popularity of lead ingots of custom-made specifications.

Differences in premiums for lead ingots of similar lead purity – 99.985% battery-grade for instance – have been cited because of varying chemical compositions, according to European market sources.

As a consequence, Fastmarkets proposes to discontinue the following premiums:

Lead premium, 99.97% purity, Rotterdam duty-paid FCA $ per tonne
Lead premium, 99.99% purity, Rotterdam, duty-paid FCA, $ per tonne
Lead premium, 99.97% purity, Italy, duty-paid FCA, $ per tonne 

The above premiums are currently published on a weekly basis on Tuesday.

The 99.97% Rotterdam duty-paid FCA lead premium has been unchanged throughout 2018 at $65-75 per tonne with little spot activity reported because the market remains well-covered by contractual supply.

Although there were slightly more fluctuations in the 99.99% lead premium for Rotterdam and the 99.97% lead premium for Italy during the same period, the changes were based on a very low number of data contributions, which Fastmarkets considered as insufficient to support the required robustness and representativeness of our prices.

In light of these initial findings, Fastmarkets proposes to discontinue its three European lead premium assessments and invite market participants to suggest specifications for alternative premium references, if required.

The consultation period for the discontinuation of these premiums will end one month from the date of this pricing notice on Monday February 4 with changes taking place, subject to market feedback, from February 12.

To provide feedback on the European lead premium discontinuation or if you would like to provide price information by becoming a data submitter, please contact Archie Hunter/ Julian Luk by email to: pricing@fastmarkets.com. Please add the subject heading FAO: Archie Hunter/ Julian Luk, re: European lead premium discontinuation.

To see all Fastmarkets' pricing methodology and specification documents go to https://www.metalbulletin.com/prices/pricing-methodology.html