The London Metal Exchange (LME) is the world centre for industrial metals trading. Most of the world’s non-ferrous metals business is conducted on our three trading platforms: LMEselect (electronic), the Ring (open outcry) and the 24-hour telephone market.
In 2020, 155 million lots were traded at the LME equating to $11.6 trillion and 3.5 billion tonnes notional with a market open interest (MOI) high of 2 million lots. Trading on the LME often exceeds world metal production by a factor of 40.
The global metal community uses the LME to trade futures and options to hedge against adverse price movements – prices which are discovered on our markets and used as the global reference.
Participants can trade six different types of contract against 14 underlying metals on a choice of three platforms.
Clients wishing to access our markets must do so through an LME member, all of which are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The LME is supervised by the FCA as an operator of a Recognised Investment Exchange and, with effect from 3 December 2019, authorised and regulated by the FCA in respect of its benchmark administration activities under the European Benchmarks Regulation.
|Access the market
Whether you are an industrial hedger, physical market trader or prop desk there are, broadly speaking, two ways of accessing our markets.
Participants can trade one of our 14 underlying metals using futures, options, TAPOs, Monthly Average Futures, LMEminis and our index product, LMEX.
The LME provides the market with three transparent and regulated platforms for trading industrial metal contracts.
A set of robust systems and technologies underpin trading at the LME and provide security to those trading on our market.
We always strive to improve services for existing users of the market whilst reaching out to new participants with new ideas and new products. Here’s a selection of our latest offerings.
|Physical market services
The LME offers those at all stages of the metals supply chain the opportunity to hedge their price risk and gain protection from adverse price movements.
To support the mechanism of physical delivery the LME approves and licenses a network of warehouses and storage facilities around the world.
The LME delivery system relies on a user being guaranteed a specified quality and quantity of metal.