Asian metals market to get benchmark

  • New reference prices will provide market with Asian trading indicator and add transparency on base metals prices in the region.
  • Asian Benchmark prices to complement existing official, unofficial and closing prices.

The London Metal Exchange (LME) will launch new reference prices for copper, aluminium and zinc markets on 24 January 2011, based on trading activity on the Exchange during the Asian time zone. The new Asian Benchmark prices, a set of three month futures prices, will act as regional indicators and bring added transparency to these markets.

The Exchange’s electronic trading platform, LMEselect, has seen early morning trading grow significantly in recent years, with average daily volume before 7:00am London time up 90% so far in 2010 compared with 2009, indicating a large increase in trading on the LME from Asian markets, and this platform will provide the basis for the new Asian Benchmark prices. A trade weighted average price will be calculated from transactions on LMEselect between 8.00am and 8.15am London time and the new Asian Benchmark prices will be published at 8.30am London time on a daily basis.

Liz Milan, Managing Director LME Asia, comments, “This LME’s new Asian Benchmark Prices will bring further transparency to Asian trading activity on the Exchange and perfectly complement our existing official, unofficial and closing prices which act as reference prices for the world.”

The introduction of an Asian benchmark for other non-ferrous metals and steel will be considered in the future.

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