LONDON London Metal Exchange base metals futures trading volumes rose 12.4 percent in 2012 compared with the previous year, with nickel contracts recording the largest percentage increase with a gain of 38.6 percent.
Total base metals futures contract trading volumes reached 154 million lots. Volume increases were seen in nickel, which rose to 8.06 million lots; copper, up 3.9 percent to 38.5 million lots; zinc, up 34.5 percent to 29.6 million lots; and lead, up 30.5 percent to 10.9 million lots.
But aluminum and tin volumes fell 0.7 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively, to 59.1 million and 1.8 million lots.
The LME mini-contracts for aluminum, copper and zinc didnt trade in 2012. In 2011, copper trades reached 399 lots and zinc was at 11 lots, but the mini-contract for aluminum didnt trade.
Trades for the newly launched aluminum swap contract reached 15,079 lots in 2012. Copper, zinc and nickel swap contract trades were at 30, 308 and 94 lots, respectively, while the lead and tin contracts remained untraded.
Cobalt futures trading volumes more than doubled to 13,921 lots last year, while molybdenum volumes fell 10.1 percent to 461 lots.
The minor metals contracts were launched in 2010.
Gold futures volumes increased fourfold to 100 lots.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.