Factbox - Online platforms emerging in industrial metals

(Reuters) - The London Metal Exchange is looking at forging alliances with online platforms for industrial metals to help recoup profits it has lost from business that has shifted to the over-the-counter market.

Industry sources say established online venues Trayport and EBS are poised to expand into base metals, but the companies themselves have not confirmed this.

Below are a selection of online platforms in base metals that have either launched or plan to go live in coming months. Some of them deal in products not traded on the LME, such as concentrates.

TRADECLOUD - Focused on the physical market, the platform was co-founded by Simon Collins, an ex-head of metals and minerals of trade house Trafigura.

It bills itself as a technology and communications platform, similar to online rental marketplace Airbnb, “where producers, consumers and traders can meet to exchange information, negotiate contracts and conclude business”.

TradeCloud is initially focusing on the main six base metals traded on the London Metal Exchange (LME), but may later expand into other commodities.

NFEX MARKETS - Plans to launch early next year, it will offer trading in base metals such as copper and aluminium with contracts that mimic those of the LME.

The trading platform is expected to sit alongside existing systems to provide users with a choice of how to execute trades to secure the best prices most efficiently.

NFEx has on board as consultant former LME CEO Martin Abbott.

METALPRODEX - The platform trades primary metals and semi-finished products of aluminium, copper, lead and zinc on the spot market. Prices include regional premiums and are conducted on the basis of being stored in warehouses.

METALS HUB - Aiming to go live by the end of 2017, the platform is an online marketplace focusing on ferro-alloys “to promote a more efficient and liquid physical market”.

Registered users can send tenders or place bids or offers in response. Initially it will trade boron, chrome, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, niobium, silicon, titanium, tungsten and vanadium.

Two of its co-founders previously worked at miner Anglo American and the Boston Consulting Group.

OPEN MINERAL - The platform specialises in trading concentrates, aiming to allow mining companies and smelters to cut out the middlemen and save cash.

Miners and smelters post tenders on the online platform, which launched in September, get offers from counterparties and agree deals.

It was founded by a group of former traders from commodity house Glencore.

TpMATCH - Brokerage Tullett Prebon plans to launch an electronic trading platform in early November for members of the LME to execute carry trades that bridge contracts maturing on different dates.


Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Dale Hudson