Backwardated forward spreads on LME spur P1020 sell-off in Europe

Looming backwardations on London Metal Exchange spreads sparked a sell-off of P1020 aluminium in Europe on Thursday October 21, with participants concerned about carrying metal into 2022.

Fastmarkets assessed the aluminium P1020A premium, in-whs dup Rotterdam at $250-270 per tonne on Thursday, down from $285-300 per tonne on Wednesday October 20. The decrease marks the assessment's lowest range since early July.
The premium hit a six-year high of $300-310 per tonne on September 2, supported by high freight rates that have increased the cost of bringing metal to Europe.
Long-term LME spreads began to trade in a wide backwardation throughout October, which made it expensive to carry stocks over a long period of time, and premiums started to come under downward pressure when the amount of market participants liquidating metal increased.

“People don’t want to carry into the backwardation next year,” a trader in Europe said. “People...

Published

Justin Yang

Alice Mason

October 22, 2021

08:00 GMT

London