Bank of China (601988.SH, 3988.HKG) has become the first Chinese company to apply for membership in the London Metal Exchange, Bloomberg reported. Bank of China International Global Commodities is pursuing a category-2 membership, which would allow the firm to trade in the world’s largest metals exchange by phone and electronically. However, BOCI Global Commodities would not be allowed to trade on the open floor, which is reserved for the 12 current category-one members. The LME board will review the application on April 23. “China is such a big user of the LME,” said Herwig Schmidt, head of sales at Triland Metals. “It’s the first step that encourages others to follow.” Trading volumes on the LME rose to record highs last year, partly due to Chinese demand. China accounts for 39% of the world’s copper consumption, as well as 42% of total aluminum use.