Posted October 28th 2015

The London Metal Exchange (LME) is the world’s largest market in options and futures contracts on base and other metals. More than 82% of all non-ferrous metal futures business is transacted through the LME, which equates to roughly:

• $14.9 trillion
• 4 billion tonnes
• 177 million lots

The LME provides producers and consumers with a physical market of last resort and, more importantly, the ability to hedge against the risk of rising and falling world metal prices. The LME is the most liquid and most traded industrial metals market in the world, ensuring prices are consistently reflective of supply and demand. They trade in the following metals:

• Aluminium – 25 tonne lots
• Aluminium Alloy – 20 tonne lots
• NASAAC – 20 tonne lots
• Copper – 25 tonne lots
• Lead – 25 tonne lots
• Nickel – 6 tonne lots
• Tin – 5 tonne lots
• Zinc – 25 tonne lots
• Cobalt – 1 tonne lots
• Molybdenum – 6 tonne lots
• Steel billet – 65 tonne lots

Participants can only trade on the LME through a member firm using one of their three platforms – The Ring, LME select and Inter-office telephone. Trading hours for The Ring, which is pivotal to the functioning of the LME, are from 11.40 to 17.00, running alongside the other 2 platforms. Trading here is done using the open outcry system, the oldest way of trading on the exchange Each LME metal is traded in highly liquid 5-minute sessions, which are representative of global supply and demand and the way official LME prices are established. Official settlement prices are determined by the final offer price before the bell sounds to mark the end of the official ring. The LME is the last exchange in Europe where open outcry trading takes place.

Only a handful of companies, known as Ring Dealing Members can trade on The Ring. Amongst these is Amalgamated Metal Trading Limited, a member of the AMC group and an organization that can trace its origins back to the founding members of the LME. AMT is a leading LME broker and has a diverse client base touching all aspects of the metal industry. A full list of members firms can be obtained on the LME website and in addition to the 10 who can trade in the Ring, around another 100 are involved in the LME in total.



Posted October 27th 2015

Steel Structures of the World – Part 1

Founded in 1830, William Rowland takes its roots to an ironmongers in Meadow Street, Sheffield, the home of Jonathan Rowland. With a rich and deep background intrinsically linked to the City of Steel, we decided to pay homage to this legacy and take a look at some of the world’s most fantastic steel engineering accomplishments in celebration of this industry.

Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA

The Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA opened in October 2003 and is a fantastic structure both on the outside and within. Outside, one can appreciate the sheer, awesome scale of the futuristic looking steel structure designed by Frank Gehry. No expense has been spared on the inside though which is designed specifically with acoustics in mind. It was designed so well, in fact, that the hall can proudly count itself amongst the best in the world for acoustic quality.

Tyne Bridge, Newcastle

Connecting Newcastle upon Tyne to Gateshead, the Tyne Bridge has been standing since it was declared open by King George V in October 1928. It is one of Newcastle’s most recognisable icons and a symbol of Tyneside’s industrial pride.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

As the worlds tallest building, the Burj Khalifa is recognisable around the world. Constructed around steel girders and beams, the building rises to a nauseating 2,722 feet – 660 feet of which are reserved for the spire alone, made of over 4,000 tonnes of steel.

Gateway Arch, St Louis

Reaching an impressive height of 630 feet, the Gateway Arch is the tallest monument in the Western Hemisphere, as well as Missouri’s tallest accessible building. It was built as a monument to westward expansion of the United States and is the centrepiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. More than a million tourists each year make the journey to the top of the arch which can sway up to 18 inches in high winds.

Basílica Menor de San Sebastián, Manila

The Basílica Menor de San Sebastián is the only all steel church in Asia, and the only prefabricated steel church in the world – a truly unique structure. Designated a National Historical Landmark by the Philippine government in 1973, the church has also been considered a possible candidate for a World Heritage Site. The sea breezes from nearby Manila Bay can be detrimental to the structure and in recent years have caused rust and corrosion, although this is usually swiftly taken care of.

New Century Global Centre, Chengdu

Chengdu has the proud accolade of being home to the world’s largest building by square footage, with the New Century Global Centre measuring 1,700,000 square metres by floor space. Not only does the Centre have it’s own artificial sun and indoor beach; it also boasts several hotels, business, offices and a university.
So where does William Rowland fit into the story? Austenitic grades of stainless steel 304 and 316 and their low carbon formats 304L and 316L are often the choice of architects when it comes to cladding buildings.

Harry Brearley is often given the credit for inventing Stainless steel in Sheffield. Grades 304 are comprised primarily of nickel , chromium and iron , grade 316 is similar but also contains an addition of molybdenum.

William Rowland Ltd actively trade in Nickel, Chromium and Molybdenum which are the major components in stainless steel grade and therefore an ideal choice for suppliers to architects and specifiers.


Posted October 21st 2015

Formerly established in 1877, the London Metal Exchange (or LME) is 138 years old. Its origins, however, can be traced as far back as the reign of Elizabeth I. In its earliest days, traders meet in London’s coffee houses to do business – the Jerusalem Coffee House being a particular favourite. A makeshift ring would be drawn on the floor in chalk and the merchant would position himself in the middle before calling out ‘Change’, the signal for those wishing to trade with him to come forward with their offers. This is, of course, the beginning of the tradition of the ring, the oldest way of trading on the exchange. Initially, the merchant gatherings were limited to British traders, but as Britain became a major metal exporter it began to draw the interest of European merchants too. Although a far cry from what the LME is today, these crude gatherings formed the basis of what would become the world’s largest market in options and futures contracts on base and other metals.

As Britain became more technologically advanced during the 1800’s, the business of metal trading became more organised. Metal traders began to import from as far away as Malaysia and Chile and the invention of the telegraph allowed them to communicate between continents thus enabling them to establish prices and delivery dates on their cargo. This was an essential development – before this there was no way of establishing a price before delivery, or even knowing when the delivery might take place.

The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 reduced the time it took to deliver tin from Malaysia to 3 month, perfectly matching the delivery time of copper from Chile and establishing the LME’s unique system of daily prompt dates for up to three months forward. This system is still in existence today. With the trade in metal futures increasing exponentially to meet the demand of the British industry it was only a matter of time until a formal organization was established and in 1877 the London Metals and Mining Company was born in a hat shop over Lombard Court.

Today, the LME continues to thrive and is constantly adapting to the ever-changing world of metals and base trading. The most recent development in their story came in 2012 when the LME was acquired by Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Limited.
William Rowland Ltd actively trade major LME metals, Aluminium, Copper, Lead, Nickel, Tin and Zinc. As part of the Amalgamated Metal Corporation they are also able to draw on the services of the very well established tier one ring dealing member AMT – Amalgamated Metal Trading.

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