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New sanctions against Russia send industrial metal prices soaring

The prices of aluminum, nickel and copper soared on Monday on the London Metal Exchange (LME) after the United States and the United Kingdom banned the import of metals of Russian origin into the framework of sanctions to reduce Moscow's revenues.

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New sanctions against Russia send industrial metal prices soaring

The prices of aluminum, nickel and copper soared on Monday on the London Metal Exchange (LME) after the United States and the United Kingdom banned the import of metals of Russian origin into the framework of sanctions to reduce Moscow's revenues. Aluminum thus peaked on Monday on the LME at 2,728 dollars per tonne and copper at 9,640.50 dollars, records since June 2022. Nickel, for its part, climbed to its highest price since September, at 19,355 dollars. per ton. Copper is widely used in industry, particularly for making electrical circuits. Aluminum is widely used in the automotive industry and nickel is essential in the manufacture of stainless steel and electric vehicle batteries.

This price increase comes after Washington's announcement on Friday of a ban on the importation into the United States of aluminum, copper and nickel of Russian origin, as part of additional sanctions taken with the United Kingdom. United and aimed at reducing Moscow's revenues. “Metal exchanges, such as the London Metal Exchange (LME) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), will not be allowed to accept aluminum, copper and nickel produced by Russia. Metals exchanges play a central role in facilitating the trade of industrial metals around the world,” the US Treasury said on Friday.

Metals are Moscow's main export product after energy, although their value has declined since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the British government detailed in a separate statement on Friday. These exports represented $25 billion in 2022 before falling to $15 billion in 2023 “due to the efforts of the G7 and its allies to restrict the market,” it was specified.

The sanctions “reflect the British government's intention to restrict the financial benefits that the Russian government derives from metals produced in Russia and traded around the world,” the London Metal Exchange noted in a notice published on Saturday. The LME claims to “take into account all sanctions” in its operations.

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