LME finds no further 'irregularities' in warranted nickel

24th March 2023

By: Reuters


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LONDON - The London Metal Exchange (LME) said on Thursday it has no reason to believe any other LME-approved facility is affected by the "irregularities" found in nine nickel warrants last week at one LME-licensed warehouse.

Last week, the LME cancelled the nine warrants - documents conferring ownership of metal stored in LME-registered warehouses - or 54 tonnes of bagged nickel briquette, without disclosing what was in the bags.

Sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters earlier this week that nickel delivered by LME-approved warehouse firm Access World to commodity traders Trafigura and Stratton Metals contained stones instead of nickel.

The amounts involved are not large, but industry sources said the discovery of non-conforming nickel has eroded confidence in the nickel trade, both globally and on the LME, the world's oldest and largest forum for metals.

"We are continuing to work with warehouse operators to complete a thorough check of LME-warranted bagged nickel – the majority of warrants have now been checked, with no further irregularities found," the LME said in a statement.

"We will communicate with the market via notice to confirm completion shortly."

The LME called on all warehouse operators to undertake inspections of warranted nickel last week. To give them time to do that, it postponed the resumption of nickel trading during Asian hours by a week to March 27.

"We are confident that this is an isolated incident," the 146-year-old exchange said.

Buyers of nickel on the London Metal Exchange nervous about receiving material that does not meet specification are rolling their positions forward by selling nearby contracts and buying them back further out, traders said.

This can be seen in the steep discounts for nearby contracts against those with a longer maturity

Edited by Reuters



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