September 22, 2014,15:25 +0900(JST) At the LME Party
On September 10, a London Metal Exchange (LME) seminar was held in Tokyo. Since I had been invited to the seminar as Chairman of the Japanese Electric Wire & Cable Makers’ Association, I flew to Haneda after conducting business in Osaka in the morning, and attended the party held in the evening at the official residence of the British Ambassador to Japan.
The party drew about 200 people, including those involved in related industries. The event began with an excellent speech by his Excellency Mr. Tim Hitchens in fluent Japanese. Following LME CEO Garry Jones, I was called on to deliver a speech as the Chairman of the Japanese Electric Wire & Cable Makers’ Association.
As I have mentioned several times before in this blog, the LME is extremely important to copper processors. The prices of most copper raw materials that we procure are based on prices determined by the LME. A basic premise for our business is that copper prices are determined fairly and appropriately. These days, however, there is a growing trend in which copper is treated not for industrial use, but as a financial product, causing price fluctuations. This is having a serious effect on copper processors. LME’s original purpose of providing sound opportunities for metal trading is being lost.
I served as the Chairman of the International Wrought Copper Council (IWCC) until this May. At the IWCC, I ensured that the above issue was discussed thoroughly, and I made every effort to secure an opportunity for the IWCC and the LME to exchange opinions frankly. I believe that I put a process in motion to solve the problem, before passing the baton on to the next chairman. Our effort has just begun, but if we have closer communication between related parties and promote efforts seriously to solve the problem, I am convinced that “after rain will come fair weather.” Heavy rain, which we had on the day of the event, is sure to be followed by beautiful weather.