LME Steel Billet volumes surge 214 per cent in H1

July 2011 – LME Steel Billet volumes up 214 per cent in H1
– LME recipient of major steel industry award for excellence
– Two new locations approved for physical delivery
– 22 members now regularly trading LME Steel Billet

Trading in steel billet at the London Metal Exchange (LME) has continued to grow rapidly in the first half of 2011, up 214 per cent compared with the corresponding period last year. This is the equivalent to $4.4 billion.

Marking the continued success of LME Steel Billet, the contract has also won a prestigious annual award for innovation at the American Metal Market’s (AMM) Awards for Steel Excellence. The strong category of eight nominations included innovations by ArcelorMittal, BMW and Latrobe Steel.

Chris Evans, Head of Business Development at the LME, commented: “The strong growth of LME steel futures over the first half of 2011 indicates growing support from the industry. We hope that what appears innovative yesterday could soon become standard.”

In the first six months of this year, 123,173 lots were traded (H1 2010: 57,648 lots), equivalent to 8.0 million tonnes (H1 2010: 3.7 million tonnes). Market open interest has also climbed by 112 per cent, to 3,098 lots at the end of June (30 June 2010: 2,754 lots). The total notional value of LME Steel Billet traded in the first half of 2011 was $4.4 billion (H1 2010: $1.8 billion).

The contract has gained increasing support from its members, with 22 members now regularly trading LME Steel Billet. The addition of two European locations (Bilbao, Spain and Ravenna, Italy) will also enhance the contract’s warehousing network in Europe, making it easier for the steel industry to utilise the contract. LME Steel Billet is now listed in 12 locations in nine countries.