Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Comex delists aluminum, ponders future product

After 10 years of spotty trading and incessant illiquidity, CME Group's aluminum futures contract has expired with more of a whimper than a bang. But that hasn't stopped the exchange from considering taking a fresh stab at the market.
"I can't say people were upset about (the contract's demise)," according to Bob Levin, managing director for energy and metals research and development at CME Group, which operated the contract after its 2008 takeover of the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex). "I'm not aware of anybody voicing anything very negative at all, except perhaps some disappointment that it hadn't worked as successfully as we all would have liked. If they had wanted it that much, they would have been trading it more."
CME Group announced in June the decision to delist the futures contract upon the expiration of the September 2009 contract month and the options contract at the end of August. The contract launched in May 1999 against the backdrop of a roaring aluminum product on the London Metal Exchange but struggled to attract volumes from the start.
Traders of the light metal told AMM that the decision to delist didn't come as a surprise, and, if anything, came too late. "They could have done that a long time ago. It's definitely been obsolete for some time," one trader said.
A second trader agreed. "I think that contract just hasn't been used for so long it's just irrelevant. What it became was just like a joke," he said, noting that his trading company hadn't held positions on the...

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