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LME trading volume down one per cent in 2009

LME trading volume down one per cent in 2009

After four years of record volume trading, London Metal Exchange activity remained relatively flat in 2009 with total volumes of 111.9 million lots traded, down a modest one per cent on 2008’s 113.2 million total.

Aluminium, copper and zinc were again the three largest contracts by volume, trading 49.7million, 26.5million and 16.6 million lots respectively. 

Steel Mediterranean billet futures showed strong growth, ending 2009 with a total of over 30,000 contracts traded, up 133 per cent on 2008.

Martin Abbott, LME chief executive, says: “2009 was a difficult year in the broader market as the recession affected both production and consumption of many raw materials. After a record year in 2008, where volumes increased 22 per cent, the LME has again proved itself a resilient and strong exchange with a sound global reputation as an efficient market.”

In 2010, the LME has a number of major strategic projects due to go live. On 22 February, new contracts for cobalt and molybdenum will be launched across all three exchange trading venues – LMEselect, the inter-broker telephone market and the Ring, the LME’s open outcry trading floor.

In the second quarter, the exchange will establish the world’s first global steel futures contract, by integrating the existing Mediterranean and Far East contracts and registering new warehouse and delivery points. 

Technology projects are also being driven through at the exchange. In February, a new IT system, LMEsword, will be introduced. The system will replace the existing Sword system (operated by LCH.Clearnet) enabling the LME to bring new products to market more rapidly in future. LCH.Clearnet will retain its traditional clearing role.

2010 will also see the LME establish its first overseas office in Singapore.

“The need for transparent and effectively governed markets will be a focus for regulators, central banks and governments internationally during 2010 so everything we are doing is geared towards maintaining our position as a strong and orderly market with a global reach,” adds Abbott.

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