COLUMN-LME warehousers slash capacity as metal stocks drain away – by Andy Home (Reuters – February 17, 2022)

LONDON, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Glencore’s decision to sell its warehousing and logistics business looks like a well-timed call on the metals storage market.

It bought Access World in 2010 in the wake of the financial crisis, which generated a surge of metal, particularly aluminium, into London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses. Total LME inventory of all metals mushroomed from 3.41 million tonnes at the start of 2009 to a peak of 7.75 million in June 2013.

Glencore wasn’t alone in seeing the opportunities created by the metal glut. Goldman Sachs had already snapped up another LME warehousing company – Metro – and others would follow.

Fast forward to 2022, however, and the outlook for LME warehousing companies is very different. Exchange stocks have been draining away as pandemic demand recovery collides with disrupted supply chains across the base metals spectrum.

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