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July 30, 2021

Fastmarkets is launching a one-month consultation on several proposed updates to the wording of its assessment methodology.

The proposed wording refinements do not materially alter the way Fastmarkets Metals & Mining assesses prices but are instead intended to describe the process more clearly to increase market participants’ understanding of how editorial judgment is applied.
The changes are not anticipated to result in any noticeable changes in Fastmarkets’ assessment price levels or behavior.
Fastmarkets is seeking feedback on its proposal to amend the wording of its Metals & Mining assessment methodology to more clearly describe the principles that guide its reporters’ and editors’ judgment when evaluating data to arrive at final price assessments.
The core elements of this proposed update are as follows:
1. Introducing a statement of Fastmarkets Metals & Mining’s assessment objective
The objective of Fastmarkets Metals & Mining’s assessment methodology is to represent: “The prevailing level at which a commodity of stated specification has or could be expected to have transacted over a defined period of time.”
2. Introducing key principles for evaluating data inputs and determining a hierarchy of consideration
The primary principle is “confidence.” Factors that may influence an assessor’s confidence in information include, but are not limited to:

  • The transparency of its reporting and level of detail provided
  • Corroboration or visibility by other market participants
  • Appropriate justification or rationale (if evaluating an indication of tradeable level rather than a deal, bid or offer)

Data that Fastmarkets is more confident in would always take precedence over data whose veracity or credibility we are less certain of.
The secondary principle applied when evaluating data inputs is “significance”. This is a gauge of how instructive the information is in determining our stated assessment objective (see above). Significance is considered a more effective principle than a simple ranking of data types because it better accounts for context.
For example, bid and offer data can be of higher or lower significance depending on their relation to other data points. Our general ranking of data types in order of significance is as follows:
i. Deals
ii. Tight (competitive) bids/offers*
iii. Indications of tradeable levels
iv. Wide (speculative) bids/offers**
*Bids and/or offers within the spread of deal or indication data points. In some circumstances, firm bids higher than deals or offers lower than deals may be considered as significant as deals if they are deemed to indicate a clear directional change of market level, rather than simply reflecting opacity of market information.
**Bids and/or offers outside the spread of deal or indication data points
Fastmarkets MB staff are guided by both the principles of “confidence” and “significance” when evaluating data to fulfil the stated pricing objective. This helps to ensure that editorial judgment is applied in a reasoned and consistent manner in the assessment process.

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