World Economy

LME Trading Shrinks

LME Trading ShrinksLME Trading Shrinks

Traders are buying and selling more metal than they have in years on Chinese and American exchanges. In London, the heart of the global market for more than century, it’s just the opposite, Bloomberg reported. During the first four months of the year, futures trading on the London Metal Exchange fell a combined 10% for its six main contracts, including copper and aluminum. That’s the worst start to a year since the data begins in 2006. While the LME remains the industry’s primary hub, its share of the global market slipped to 76% last year from 83% in 2012, according to the exchange. At a time when the commodity rout and regulatory hurdles have forced banks and hedge funds to exit the market, the LME is seeing less trading after raising fees and tightening rules at more than 600 warehouses. But business is booming in China, where the Shanghai and Dalian exchanges benefited from a speculative surge in raw materials, and in New York, as copper trading on the Comex reached a three-year high last month.