UPDATE: Al market expects price pressure from Rusal sanctions relief

Aluminium market participants in the United States and Europe expect further downward pressure on premiums and London Metal Exchange prices following the US Treasury Department’s announcement that sanctions against UC Rusal will be removed.

Sanctions were imposed against Rusal in April, followed by several extensions of general licenses that allowed companies additional time to wind down their contracts with the Russian aluminium supplier. The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced on Wednesday December 19 that sanctions will be removed in 30 days - pending US Congressional approval - due to significant restructuring and corporate governance changes. Rusal released a statement Thursday December 20, warning investors that the US Treasury's decision is not final. "There is no assurance that the termination of sanctions imposed on [Rusal] will materialize or eventually be consummated as contemplated or at all," the Russian producer said in the statement. Rusal shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange closed 9.38% higher at HK$2.45 ($0.31) at Thursday's close. Multiple sources told Fastmarkets that they anticipate downward pressure on an already depressed LME aluminium price and some softening in the US Midwest aluminium premium. At least partially due...


Michael Roh

December 20, 2018

10:30 GMT

New York