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UPDATE 1-Glencore, Goldman warehouses have longest aluminium queues-LME report
05/12/2014 Email this story  |  Printable Version

* Longest queue over 2 yrs in aluminium at Pacorini in Vlissingen

* New LME report shows queues in four locations, with three operators (Adds details, background)

By Eric Onstad

LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) - Wait times to get metal out of warehouse firms owned by trade house Glencore and bank Goldman Sachs stretch up to two years, according the London Metal Exchange's (LME) first report detailing backlogs at its global network of depots.

Lengthy logjams at warehouses monitored by the LME, the world's oldest and biggest market for industrial metals, prompted bitter criticism by consumers and sparked a wide-ranging reform programme at the exchange.

The LME's new report, covering the month of April, showed the backlogs were concentrated at four warehouse locations and with three major warehouse operators.

The LME already publishes data on inventory levels by location and metal, but up until now has not published the amount of stock held by individual companies.

A court ruling in March halted a key element of the reforms, but the LME has pressed on with many other aspects, including boosting transparency.

The LME report showed the longest queue was just over two years, or 748 calendar days, for aluminium at Pacorini warehouses in the Dutch port of Vlissingen and the second longest was 683 days at Metro depots in Detroit.

Pacorini Metals is owned by commodity group Glencore Xstrata and Metro International Trade Services is a unit of Goldman Sachs.

The owners of warehouses have profited through rental charges by letting long queues build up for buyers to withdraw metal. Some also keep huge stocks of aluminium tied up, unavailable to manufacturers, in long-term financing deals.

Other metals at Vlissingen and Detroit were also caught up in the backlogs with queues of 63 days at the Dutch warehouses and 186 days at the U.S. depots for copper, lead and zinc, according the LME report.

The report appears on the LME website -- http://www.lme.com/metals/reports/stocks/queue/

Impala Terminals UK Ltd, owned by trade house Trafigura, was the only other warehouse operator with queues. It had backlogs of 27 days at its Antwerp locations for a range of metals, including copper and zinc.

The fourth location with backlogs was New Orleans, where warehouses owned by Pacorini had queues of 44 days in several metals, including zinc, copper and lead.

(Reporting by Eric Onstad; editing by Susan Thomas)

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