Clarksons has set up a new derivatives desk to focus on base and battery metals.

Deals will be done in futures and physical markets as part of the financial derivatives division.

The move is being made “due to growth in production of electric vehicles and green energy storage” that is pushing up demand for the metals “considerably”, the London-listed shipbroker said.

The new desk will trade in a range of metals, including the highly liquid lithium and cobalt markets, via the CME Group and SGX exchanges.

The operation will be headed by Philip Lye, based in the Geneva office. He will be supported by colleagues in global offices.

“Philip will leverage his strong experience in the metals and derivatives sales and trading market, and his broking experience within the Clarksons dry cargo division, to meet the needs of clients looking to build long-term strategies and execute short-term deals,” Clarksons said.

Lye added: “The market for battery cells will grow, on average, by more than 20% per year until 2030.

“In regard to lithium alone, we’re seeing record-setting activity both in terms of volume traded and the pools of participants.”

Lye believes Clarksons’ global client base will want to manage price risk and exposure via experienced broking experts, as they take advantage of the opportunities this “burgeoning market” presents.

The broker said he looks forward to building on the strong reputation that the derivatives team at Clarksons has earned.

Essential solutions

Clarksons said that as the world progresses towards 2050 net zero targets, battery use will help to eliminate vehicle emissions and provide essential green energy storage solutions.

Last month, TradeWinds reported that Clarksons Platou Futures, part of the Clarksons group, could be liable to pay up to $2m in fines following a complaint by a US derivatives regulator.

The National Futures Association (NFA)’s business conduct committee filed a complaint in April that charges the derivatives brokerage with failing to retain pre-trade communications and disclosing confidential information.

It also alleges that Clarksons’ brokers quoted prices unsupported by bids and offers, and changed clients’ bids without their knowledge.

The NFA has also charged Clarksons with failing to register three individuals as NFA associates, including the head of its wet freight derivatives desk, who was not named in the document.

Clarksons declined to comment.

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