LME warehouse queues return with over 100-day wait for aluminium in Port Klang

A 109-day queue for aluminium out of the ISTIM warehouse in Port Klang developed last month following a series of large cancelations on the London Metal Exchange, according to LME data released on Thursday May 10.

On-warrant aluminium stocks in Port Klang fell 66% during April leaving just 110,496 of available stock at the ISTIM warehouse.

The cancelations followed the announcement of US sanctions against Rusal, leading to traders trying to get hold of non-Russian metal which was held in Asian warehouses.

Some 108,000 tonnes of material were freshly canceled in Port Klang in one day on Friday April 13, with the metal presumed to be Indian material, which is in high demand.

“With the large cancelations, it is not surprising the queue has formed – but over a 100 days is very significant and if it sustains for a long period of time we could see issues arise again,” a trader said.

This is the longest queue for aluminium since early 2017 when the wait for metal out of the Access World warehouse in Vlissingen was still over 100 days.

The Access World Vlissingen queues lasted six years and at its peak in June 2014, aluminium buyers had to wait 774 days to take delivery of the metal at this warehouse.

But at the end of 2017, there were no queues at any LME-approved warehouse for any metal.

At the ISTIM warehouse in Port Klang, there is a 22-day wait for copper, lead and zinc. While at Henry Bath in Port Klang there is a three-day wait for copper, lead, aluminium and zinc.

At H&M Metal Warehousing in Taiwan there is a 10-day queue for copper, lead, aluminium and zinc delivery. There is also a 10-day queue for the same metals at H&M in Busan.

The LME queue data reflects the waiting time as of the last business day of April.