Column: London Metal Exchange ducks Russian sanctions pressure – by Andy Home (Reuters – October 4, 2022)

LONDON, Oct 4 (Reuters) – It’s clear the London Metal Exchange (LME) isn’t going to be rushed into any decision on whether to continue accepting Russian metal against its contracts.

A discussion paper on the possibility of suspending Russian brands is “an option currently under active consideration,” it said. But the exchange hasn’t actually decided yet whether to issue such a paper. Given the LME’s protracted rule-making process – a discussion paper followed by a consultation paper followed by legal notice – there seems little prospect of an imminent change in the status of Russian metal.

The LME has already tweaked its rules slightly to abide by the limited government sanctions on Russian metal in the wake of the Kremlin’s self-styled “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Metals players choosing to impose their own sanctions, so-called self-sanctioning, could have a much larger impact on Russian flows of aluminium, copper and nickel next year but it will be the market itself that determines whether the exchange needs to adjust its delivery rules.

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