European Trade Group Pushes Back Against Calls For Banning Russian Aluminium In LME Warehouses

European Trade Group Pushes Back Against Calls For Banning Russian Aluminium In LME Warehouses

The war of words over Russian aluminium at London Metal Exchange warehouses continued on Friday, as another trade industry group came out in opposition to calls to ban it from the platform.

On Friday, the Federation of Aluminium Consumers in Europe (FACE) released a statement along with the German Federal Association for Economic Development, the Foundry Suppliers, Association of Steels, Metals, Scrap and the Foundry Association, declaring that banning Russian aluminium would do significant harm to the European Union’s aluminium value chain.

Mario Conserva, FACE’s Secretary General, was quoted in the statement as questioning the motives of those who are calling for a ban on Russian aluminium.

“These calls for bans and sanctions seem one more oligopolistic attempt to easily eliminate a competitor with non market practices and to turn Europe into a captive market.”

The LME weighed banning Russian aluminium from its warehouses but ultimately decided against it in November. The Exchange noted that much of the aluminium market was still trading Russian aluminium. Since then, Norsk Hydro has called for a reversal of the decision, releasing a statement to that effect earlier in July.

As a result of the LME’s decision, the volume of Russian aluminium in their warehouses has risen significantly, as high as 80 percent at times. Norsk Hydro said that such a high volume of Russian aluminium in LME’s warehouses put the Exchange’s status as a benchmark in the industry in question.

For its part, the LME restated its response to Norsk Hydro, which was that it would continue to abide by any state-ordered sanctions and tariffs, and that it would continue to monitor the situation going forward.

In October, FACE petitioned European lawmakers to pass on sanctions of Russian aluminium, as they contended that such actions would imperil a wide swath of companies on the continent and jeopardize the operation of Rusal’s smelters there.