Russia seek compensation over US aluminium sanctions

Prices surge to highest level in seven years

The US sanctions have cut Rusal off from global markets and left buyers of its alumina unable to continue with their contracts.  Rusal owns the Aughinish refinery in Ireland, which employs 450 workers.

The US sanctions have cut Rusal off from global markets and left buyers of its alumina unable to continue with their contracts. Rusal owns the Aughinish refinery in Ireland, which employs 450 workers.

 

Russia is demanding compensation from the United States for its decision to impose worldwide tariffs on steel and aluminium, a Russian statement published by the World Trade Organisation showed on Thursday.

The United States maintains that the tariffs are based on national security concerns and fall outside the remit of the WTO rules, but Russia, China, India and the European Union have all objected, saying the tariffs appear to be “safeguards”, which require compensation for major exporting countries.

The United States has agreed to negotiate with China and has told India and the EU that it is open to “discuss this or any other issue”, while insisting that their claims for compensation are unjustified.

Aluminium prices surged as much as 5 per cent to their highest level in almost seven years on Thursday amid enduring concerns over strained global supply following US sanctions on major Russian producer Rusal on April 6th, with similar worries also spurring nickel. Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange climbed as far as $2,664.50 (€2,153) a tonne.

The US sanctions have cut Rusal off from global markets and left buyers of its alumina unable to continue with their contracts. Rusal owns the Aughinish refinery in Ireland, which employs 450 workers.

Alumina prices have leapt as much as 80 per cent since the announcement of sanctions, which will drive up the cost for aluminium producers.

The sanctions on Rusal and its founder Oleg Deripaska have thrown the fate of the Aughinish refinery in Limerick into doubt.

Rio Tinto, which supplies bauxite to Aughinish, said last week it was in the process of declaring force majeure on its contracts with Rusal, which also owns alumina refineries in Ukraine and Italy as well as a number in Russia.

- Reuters/Financial Times