First imposed on April 6, 2018, the United States’ sanctions against the Russian producer spurred uncertainty in both the physical aluminium and alumina markets, with prices and physical premiums surging as a result.
While continuing to trade close to $2,000 per tonne for much of the second half of 2018, aluminium futures ended the year 18.4% lower, with prices trading below $1,900 per tonne this month.
In a move that created delays at the LME’s warrant depository, last week more than 272,000 tonnes of aluminium were booked for removal from mostly Malaysian warehouses. The removal of sanctions against Rusal could mean around 200,000-300,000 tonnes of material returns to the market.
“Base metals are almost all under pressure while the new week of trading gets underway. After much toing and froing, the US removed the sanctions against the largest...