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A new Singapore-based commodities exchange, preparing to roll-out a futures contract for nickel used in electric vehicles (EVs), also aims to add contracts for other metals used in EV batteries, executives told Reuters.

The Abaxx Commodities Exchange executives reiterated they aimed to launch the world’s first futures contract for nickel sulphate by the end of this year.

Nickel sulphate is a form of nickel used in EV batteries, a sector which is growing in importance.

Futures contracts give producers, industrial consumers and investors an easy way to trade products while also allowing hedging of prices to help with financial planning.

“I think nickel will be the first step in that battery metals space for us, not the last,” said David Greely, chief economist for the exchange.

“We’ve already been approached by others saying we love what you’ve done in the nickel sulphate contract. How about you look at these other markets.”

Chief Commercial Officer Joe Raia declined to give details on which contracts would be next, but said it would be logical to look at metals such as at lithium.

The exchange, owned by Canadian-listed Abaxx Technologies, also plans to launch futures in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and carbon.

Greely said prospective customers liked the structure of the new contract that is physically-settled but does not have a network of warehouses for delivery like dominant metals market London Metal Exchange (LME).

Instead, Abaxx futures contracts facilitate delivery directly from seller to buyer.

The existing nickel futures contracts on the LME and the Shanghai Futures Exchange both trade in Class 1 refined nickel.

Abaxx was still aiming to launch its exchange and first contracts by the end of the year, but that depended on regulatory approvals, said Dan McElduff, president of strategy and development.

Raia, Greely and several other Abaxx executives formerly worked at investment bank Goldman Sachs and they recently recruited Jeff Currie, a prominent analyst who recently retired as Goldman’s global head of commodities research.

Also involved with the company as an investor is Robert Friedland, a mining investor who made billions of dollars after discovering some of the world’s biggest nickel and copper deposits.