Key questions about LME warehouses and the queues

As the London Metal Exchange continues to review the regulations governing warehousing, Metal Bulletin considers load-out rates and warehouse queues.

How much metal can be moved out of LME warehouses in a day?
This is the million-dollar question, and answers vary depending on who is asked.
Banks and merchants seeking instant access to metal in warehouses allege that warehouse firms are deliberately loading out the minimum rate, and could do more.
Aluminium consumer Novelis has called for the LME to treble the current rate at large tonnage locations to 9,000 tonnes a day, after already doubling it to 3,000 tonnes from April this year. 
Warehouse firms say a rate higher than 3,000 tonnes would be physically impossible, as each truck can only carry 20 tonnes of aluminium, meaning it takes 150 trucks to deliver out the minimum amount a day.

It can take 20 minutes for one forklift driver to load a truck, they say, provided all the metal is in one location; if it was originally...


Andrea Hotter

October 02, 2012

17:27 GMT