LONDON (Reuters) – “Our industry is going to suffer from disruption, distortion and damage. April 2018 has not been a good month for aluminium globally.”
That was the view of Ron Knapp, secretary-general of the International Aluminium Institute (IAI), in his opening address to CRU’s World Aluminium Conference in London.
And none of analysts, traders, producers and consumers listening would disagree, given the carnage unleashed by the April 6 imposition of U.S. sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and his Rusal aluminium empire.
The aluminium price has experienced unprecedented turbulence. The raw material supply chain has teetered on the edge of collapse. And the tremors have raced down the value chain through major automakers as far as original equipment suppliers.
Shocked by how its precision strike on Deripaska has ruptured the global aluminium market in the space of just two weeks, the U.S. Administration has rapidly rowed back. By extending the sanctions deadline to Oct. 23, 2018, the Treasury Department has given Rusal and the aluminium market some breathing space. Both will need it.
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