Launch of South Korean black mass payable indicators

Fastmarkets launched weekly payable indicators for black mass in South Korea, starting on Wednesday May 17.

The launch of these price assessments follows a consultation period that began on April 5 for an initial one-month period and was extended for an additional week on May 5.

During the extended consultation period, Fastmarkets heard that new production scrap should be included along with end-of-life (EOL) material in the specifications demanded by the market. This is because the supply of new production scrap is currently greater than the amount of EOL material in the spot market in South Korea.

Market sources also said that a cost insurance and freight (CIF) main ports South Korea price would form a clearer price reference for the global market, rather than a delivered consumer, South Korea price. The majority of black mass price points received by Fastmarkets in the consultation period were also on a CIF South Korea basis.

Data points for the South Korean domestic trade may be normalized based on information provided by market participants. Price points gathered for other major Asian markets may also be normalized to a delivered South Korea basis using data from active participants in contact with Fastmarkets.

The price is based on nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) and nickel cobalt aluminium (NCA) batteries. NCM black mass is the chemistry which is most prevalent in the South Korean spot market, according to market sources.

The price specifications are as follows:

Assessment: MB-BMS-0001 (amended June 29 2023) – Black mass, NCM/NCA, payable indicator, nickel, cif South Korea, % payable of LME Nickel Cash Official price
Quality: Nickel and cobalt-rich black mass composed with metal content of 15-30% nickel, 5-20% cobalt, 2-7% lithium, max 6% aluminium, max 5% copper. Minimum total cobalt and nickel content of 20%.
Quantity: min one container load
Location: Cost insurance and freight (CIF) main ports, South Korea. Data points for South Korean domestic trade may be normalized based on information provided by market participants.
Unit: % payable of LME Nickel Cash Official price
Payment terms: Letter of credit
Timing: 45 days
Publication: Weekly, Wednesdays 6-7pm Singapore time.
Notes: Material must be dried and free-flowing. Price based on NCM and NCA electric vehicle (EV) black mass.

Assessment: MB-BMS-0002 (amended June 29 2023) – Black mass, NCM/NCA, payable indicator, cobalt, cif South Korea, % payable of Fastmarkets’ standard-grade cobalt price (low-end)
Quality: Nickel and cobalt-rich black mass composed with metal content of 15-30% nickel, 5-20% cobalt, 2-7% lithium, max 6% aluminium, max 5% copper. Minimum total cobalt and nickel content of 20%.
Quantity: min one container load
Location: Cost insurance and freight (CIF) main ports, South Korea. Data points for South Korean domestic trade may be normalized based on information provided by market participants.
Unit: % payable of Fastmarkets’ standard-grade cobalt price (low-end)
Payment terms: Letter of credit
Timing: 45 days
Publication: Weekly, Wednesdays 6-7pm Singapore time.
Notes: Material must be dried and free-flowing. Price based on NCM and NCA electric vehicle (EV) black mass.

Black mass refers to the remains of a battery pack after it is shredded and processed. Depending on the type of battery being treated, it may contain volumes of nickel, cobalt and lithium, which can be recovered by processors.

South Korea is one of the major markets involved in buying, trading and consuming black mass.

To provide feedback on these prices, or if you would like to provide price information by becoming a data submitter to these assessments, please contact Lee Allen by email at: pricing@fastmarkets.com. Please add the subject heading: “FAO: Lee Allen re: Asia black mass payable indicators.”

To see all Fastmarkets’ pricing methodology and specification documents, go to https://www.fastmarkets.com/about-us/methodology.

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