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Offtake Agreement


An offtake agreement is a contract between a producer and a buyer, typically for commodities, natural resources, or energy products. The agreement secures a specific amount of product at a predetermined price and time frame for the buyer, ensuring they have a steady supply. This arrangement benefits both parties as it guarantees a market for the producer’s output and ensures the buyer can consistently meet their demand.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Offtake Agreement” is:ɒftʌk ə’gri:mənt

Key Takeaways

  1. An off-take agreement is a legal contract between a producer and a buyer, where the buyer agrees to purchase a specific portion of the producer’s output at predetermined prices and quantities for a certain period.
  2. Off-take agreements primarily benefit both parties involved, as they provide the producer with a guaranteed market for its goods, while the buyer secures a reliable source of the product at agreed-upon prices, reducing uncertainty and price fluctuations.
  3. Off-take agreements are commonly used in the mining, energy, and agricultural industries, where the capital investment required for production is high and securing buyer commitments offers more stability and financing opportunities to the producer in the early stages of a project.


The Offtake Agreement is a crucial term in business and finance as it provides a level of financial security and stability for both producers and buyers in the market. This contract between the producer and buyer ensures that the buyer will purchase a predetermined amount of the producer’s output at a specific price over a certain period. The agreement reduces risks associated with fluctuations in production and market demand while ensuring a steady revenue stream for the producer. Simultaneously, it guarantees a steady supply of the product at predictable prices for the buyer. Furthermore, these agreements can help attract investment and financing opportunities for new or expanding projects, making them essential for fostering growth and development in the industry.


The fundamental purpose of an offtake agreement is to ensure a reliable market and steady revenue stream for the producer, while providing a secure supply of essential raw materials or products to the purchaser. In other words, it serves as an effective risk mitigation tool for both parties involved. Such agreements are common in the natural resource sector (mining, oil and gas exploration) and the renewable energy industry as they require significant upfront capital investments. By entering into an offtake agreement, the producer can significantly reduce the uncertainty and potential financial risk associated with these projects, as it guarantees that a substantial portion of the commodities produced will be purchased by the buyer at a predetermined price. Additionally, this can also facilitate the project financing by showcasing to investors that there exists a committed buyer and the producer is likely to generate revenues.

On the other hand, the offtake agreement not only ensures a stable supply of required materials or products for the buyer, but it also allows them to hedge against potential future price fluctuations and market volatility. By investing in the early stages of production, the end-user can negotiate favorable terms that could secure a long-term competitive pricing advantage for the commodities in question. Moreover, this guaranteed supply source protects the buyer from supply chain disruptions, enabling them to maintain a steady production flow and improving their operational efficiency. As a result, the offtake agreements serve a dual purpose of safeguarding the interests of both parties, thus creating a win-win situation that fosters smooth business relations and advances the growth prospects of the industry.


1. Tesla and Piedmont Lithium: In September 2020, Tesla, the electric vehicle manufacturer, signed an off-take agreement with mining company Piedmont Lithium. Under the agreement, Piedmont will supply Tesla with high-purity lithium ore concentrate, a critical component for electric vehicle batteries, from its North Carolina deposit for an initial five-year period. This agreement ensures that Tesla secures a consistent supply of lithium for its battery production while providing Piedmont Lithium with a reliable buyer for its product.

2. Glencore and Nyrstar: In 2013, Swiss-based commodity trader Glencore entered into an off-take agreement with Belgian mining and smelting company Nyrstar. According to the agreement, Nyrstar agreed to sell all of its zinc and lead concentrate production to Glencore for a period of seven years. This off-take agreement offered Nyrstar a stable revenue source and market access while granting Glencore a significant supply of zinc and lead concentrate to fulfill its commodity trading and business needs.

3. Prelude FLNG and Tokyo Gas: In 2011, Royal Dutch Shell signed an off-take agreement with Tokyo Gas, a Japanese utility company, to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Prelude Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) project in Australia. Under the agreement, Tokyo Gas would receive 3.5 million tons of LNG per annum for 20 years. This arrangement allowed Shell to secure long-term sales of its LNG production and provided Tokyo Gas with a stable supply of natural gas to meet Japan’s energy demands.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is an Offtake Agreement?

An offtake agreement is a contractual arrangement between a producer and a buyer to purchase or sell a specific portion of the producer’s future production, typically for a specified period and price. Such agreements are commonly used in various industries, such as mining, energy, and agriculture, where the production output is known and requires allocation to buyers.

Why are Offtake Agreements important for businesses?

Offtake agreements are crucial for businesses because they provide a guaranteed market for their products, ensuring stable revenue streams. They also help secure financing for the project, as lenders often require a committed buyer before approving a loan. Additionally, they can offer price protection to both parties involved, ensuring minimal effects from market fluctuations.

How long does an Offtake Agreement typically last?

The duration of an offtake agreement varies depending on the nature of the product, the industry, and the needs of the buyer and producer. Some agreements can last for a few months, while others may span several years or even decades in cases where long-term supply security is essential, such as mining or large-scale renewable energy projects.

What factors are considered when determining the price in an Offtake Agreement?

The pricing structure in an offtake agreement can be based on various factors, such as the current market price, the production cost, or an agreed-upon markup over the production cost. Other considerations may include global commodity prices, supply and demand dynamics, and currency exchange rates. The negotiated pricing terms can be fixed, variable, or a combination of both to account for unpredictable market fluctuations.

Can Offtake Agreements be terminated?

Yes, offtake agreements can be terminated under specific conditions set out in the contract. For instance, if any party fails to meet their obligations or breaches the agreement’s terms, it may give the other party the right to terminate the contract. Additionally, some agreements may contain clauses allowing for termination upon the occurrence of specific events like regulatory changes, force majeure, or market disruptions.

What is the difference between an Offtake Agreement and a Purchase Agreement?

While both agreements involve a buyer committing to purchasing a specific quantity of goods from a seller, they differ in their scope and purpose. An offtake agreement typically relates to a long-term arrangement for the sale and purchase of a specific portion of a producer’s future production output. In contrast, a purchase agreement is a shorter-term transaction focusing on the purchase of an already-existing stock of goods or a single transaction.

Is an Offtake Agreement legally binding?

Yes, an offtake agreement is legally binding once both parties involved sign the contract. It establishes the rights and obligations for both the producer and the buyer and outlines the terms and conditions under which the future production will be sold and purchased. Both parties should ensure they understand and agree to these terms before signing an offtake agreement.

Related Finance Terms

  • Commodity Contracts
  • Risk Mitigation
  • Long-term Agreements
  • Pricing Mechanisms
  • Supply Chain Stability

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