LONDON, Jan. 20 -- The London Metal Exchange releases annual trading figures for 2009 on Friday, unveiling the second highest trading volumes in the Exchange's history. After four years of record volume trading, LME activity remained relatively flat in 2009, with total volumes of 111.9 million lots traded, down a modest 1% on 2008's 113.2 million total. This followed a 22% growth the previous year.
Of the six main primary non-ferrous metals contracts, only two – tin and nickel – recorded a growth in activity, with tin recording a spectacular 211% increase in volumes to 4.6 million lots (of 5 tonnes). The gains mainly reflect abnormally large volumes of spread trading over the September-December period.
Aluminium, copper and zinc were again the three largest contracts by volume, trading 49.7 million, 26.5million and 16.6 million lots respectively. Total LME trading activity last year was equivalent to 2.57 billion tonnes of metals and plastics with a notional value of $7.41 trillion. The Exchange plans to introduce new minor metals and global steel futures contracts in 2010.