HOTTER ON METALS: The warehouse domino effect

The London Metal Exchange’s new warehouse proposals are going to do exactly what they set out to achieve: reduce queues and premiums.

But the domino effect the proposals are already starting to set off is far wider-reaching than just that.
Premiums are not independent of other market factors – they don’t change in a vacuum.
If the sum of the premiums and production is the equilibrium price, and premiums are already starting to edge lower, then production cuts are inevitable.
Many market participants will welcome cuts in aluminium, the market in which lengthy queues to access material first started, and which still faces the longest wait to get hold of officially stored material.
After all, the market has seen just a handful of major firms make any effort whatsoever to curtail capacity, and yet a quarter of the world’s annual production supply is above ground.

US producer Alcoa Inc and Russia’s UC Rusal lead the way in terms of cutbacks, while Norway’s Norsk Hydro and UK-listed miner Rio Tinto Alcan have...

Published

Andrea Hotter

July 22, 2013

16:53 GMT

New York