20°C / 22°C
  • Wed
  • 30°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 32°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 32°C
  • 14°C
  • Sat
  • 30°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 33°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 34°C
  • 18°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 23°C
  • 15°C
  • Fri
  • 23°C
  • 15°C
  • Sat
  • 22°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 24°C
  • 13°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 32°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 32°C
  • 15°C
  • Fri
  • 33°C
  • 15°C
  • Sat
  • 34°C
  • 17°C
  • Sun
  • 35°C
  • 18°C
  • Mon
  • 36°C
  • 18°C
  • Wed
  • 32°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 33°C
  • 15°C
  • Fri
  • 34°C
  • 16°C
  • Sat
  • 33°C
  • 16°C
  • Sun
  • 34°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 36°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 16°C
  • Thu
  • 27°C
  • 18°C
  • Fri
  • 27°C
  • 17°C
  • Sat
  • 26°C
  • 19°C
  • Sun
  • 26°C
  • 19°C
  • Mon
  • 26°C
  • 19°C
  • Wed
  • 22°C
  • 12°C
  • Thu
  • 23°C
  • 14°C
  • Fri
  • 21°C
  • 17°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 16°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 17°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 32°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 29°C
  • 17°C
  • Fri
  • 30°C
  • 15°C
  • Sat
  • 26°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 29°C
  • 14°C
  • Mon
  • 20°C
  • 12°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 16°C
  • Fri
  • 25°C
  • 15°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 14°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 32°C
  • 18°C
  • Thu
  • 33°C
  • 16°C
  • Fri
  • 34°C
  • 17°C
  • Sat
  • 35°C
  • 19°C
  • Sun
  • 36°C
  • 21°C
  • Mon
  • 38°C
  • 19°C
  • Wed
  • 33°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 35°C
  • 16°C
  • Fri
  • 34°C
  • 19°C
  • Sat
  • 34°C
  • 17°C
  • Sun
  • 35°C
  • 17°C
  • Mon
  • 33°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 28°C
  • 14°C
  • Thu
  • 29°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 32°C
  • 11°C
  • Sat
  • 34°C
  • 14°C
  • Sun
  • 35°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 40°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 12°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 16°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 16°C
  • Sat
  • 23°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 23°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 13°C

Alcoa raises alarm on LME warehouse policy

Alcoa says the LME’s plans could damage the entire aluminium market.

Alcoa corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Picture: AFP

LONDON/TORONTO - Alcoa Inc., the world's second-largest aluminium producer, has complained to British and US market regulators about a proposal by the London Metal Exchange (LME) to overhaul the LME's warehousing policy.

The LME must suspend its plan to change warehousing or risk damaging the entire aluminium market, Alcoa said in a letter sent on Friday to the UK's Financial Conduct Authority and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The LME, the world's biggest marketplace for industrial metals trading, has proposed rules that would force warehouses to release more stocks than they take in if deliveries are delayed by three months or more.

The metals warehousing business has stoked controversy as warehouse firms have made money by building up stocks and allowing queues to grow for clients seeking to withdraw material, all the time charging rent for storage.

End-users say those steps have caused long wait times that have distorted supplies and inflated premiums, or the difference between LME on-exchange prices and the actual price of physical delivery of metal.

But in its letter to regulators, Alcoa said it was fundamentally wrong for an exchange, which should act as a neutral platform, to alter the rules of the market with the express aim of moving prices, in this case regional premiums.

Producers worry that premiums will fall as a result of the rule changes, hurting profits, even as LME prices are close to or below many smelters' cost of production.

Without higher premiums to offset low underlying prices, producers are likely to shut more capacity to remove the excess in the global market, analysts say.

Alcoa also said the LME had apparently not put in place safeguards to ensure its own interests do not conflict with maintaining a set of rules that are fair to all users.

It urged the LME to launch a new consultation that offered all market participants an equal right to be heard, safeguarded against conflicts of interest and considered a range of alternative approaches.

US-based Alcoa and larger aluminium producer Rusal of Russia have already urged the LME to delay its decision and asked the exchange to release more-detailed data on long and short positions as well as inventories.

Earlier this month, Alcoa Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld lashed out at the LME's proposal to solve a years-long crisis that has damaged the exchange's reputation and cost industrial users billions of dollars in additional expenses.

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

comments powered by Disqus