LONDON Feb 11 Glencore Xstrata's
Pacorini has delisted 14 metals warehouses in the Dutch port of
Vlissingen, the London Metal Exchange (LME) said on Tuesday, as
storage firms get ready for big changes in the business.
The LME, the world's largest marketplace for metals such as
copper and aluminium, announced new regulations aimed at cutting
wait times to access metal in warehouses following complaints,
lawsuits and regulatory pressure.
Pacorini in Vlissingen has rivalled Goldman Sachs's
Metro warehousing subsidiary in Detroit in having the longest
queues for aluminium. Wait times for both still stretch for
longer than a year.
To support the mechanism of physical delivery the LME
approves and licenses a network of warehouses around the world.
Warehouse companies must meet strict criteria before they are
approved to handle metals.
Pacorini currently has more than 40 warehouses in
Vlissingen, according to LME data. Industry sources say the 14
delisted warehouses are in any case empty, and had been built
with future expansion in mind, before the LME announced its
changes last year.
Macquarie analyst Colin Hamilton said there is a good chance
that the empty warehouses would be used to store off-exchange
metal, thus reducing the market visibility of stocks.
"We're seeing redistribution of LME stocks and stock moving
off exchange," Hamilton said. "There is nothing wrong with it,
the companies are well within their rights, but it doesn't help
the LME's relevance to the market."
On Monday, Trafigura's Impala Terminals UK Ltd
delisted eight metals warehouses in Antwerp.