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LME shifts to electronic price discovery, establishes Asian HQ

Effective Feb. 15, the London Metal Exchange (LME) transitioned price discovery for its plastics futures contracts from open outcry at its trading "ring" in London to its LMEselect electronic platform. "This will increase accessibility to the market," Robert Sheldon, business manager plastics, explained to MPW. "Clients in the industry will be able to trade directly via LME member trading platforms instead of trading only through LME Ring Dealing Members."

LME plastics prices for polypropylene and linear low-density polyethylene were withdrawn from open outcry trading in the Ring starting this week, with official prices now discovered and published for Cash, Month 1, and Month 2 on LMEselect. LME says that in addition, the price methodology will change to a volume-weighted average price—a method widely used by other commodity markets. The exchange also feels that the change will allow even greater participation in the price discovery process, including input from associate broker clearing members and industry participants accessing LMEselect via member-trading platforms, in addition to ring-dealing members.

The LME also announced plans to create LME Asia, its first overseas office, which will open in Singapore in April. Liz Milan, the LME's current commercial director, will take on the role of managing director Asia. Milan has been with the exchange since January 2005, initially hired on as head of physical operations before transitioning to project director in October 2006 and then becoming commercial director in February 2008. Milan has a prior background in physical steel trading for a number of companies including Mitsubishi and Stemcor. The LME has 26 members with offices in Singapore and hopes the new site will allow it to more closely engage them and other market participants. [email protected]

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