London Metal Exchange (LME) to cut size of new steel contracts to boost liquidity

22 April 2015

The London Metal Exchange (LME) plans to reduce the size of its new steel contracts to 10 tonnes from 100 tonnes to boost liquidity, it said on Monday.

The exchange, the world's oldest and largest market for industrial metals, plans to launch the new contracts in rebar and scrap steel in October.

Matt Chamberlain, LME head of business development, told a presentation that the move would reduce fees per lot and encourage more trading.

"This means that large industrial users will continue to be able to execute cost effectively in large volume while financial liquidity providers will be able to participate more nimbly," he said.

"Although our initial suite is European-focused, we have received strong interest also from international players looking to arbitrage with other regional prices."

Chamberlain also gave an update about the LME's wide-ranging drive to reform its global network of warehouses.

In March, the 138-year-old exchange announced new rules and proposals aimed at slashing delivery backlogs at its warehouses twice as quickly as under current reforms.

Chamberlain said a consultation was over and it would announce what action it would take by the end of April.