New Sanctions on Russia to Drive Even More Metals Sales to China – by Alfred Cang (Bloomberg News – April 15, 2024)

US and UK sanctions on Russian metals will cement China as Moscow’s buyer of last resort for key commodities, and enhance Shanghai’s role as a venue to set prices for materials crucial to the global economy.

The London Metal Exchange’s ban on newly produced Russian aluminum, copper and nickel is likely to drive Chinese imports even higher. It also leaves the Shanghai Futures Exchange as the only major commodities bourse in the world to accept Russian shipments of the three metals.

“The liquidity of Russian metals in European and American markets may further decline, and global trade flows will also be reshaped,” said Wang Rong, a senior analyst at Shanghai-based broker Guotai Junan Futures Co.

Energy market sanctions imposed on Moscow in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine have already had a dramatic impact on China’s buying habits. Russia leaped above Saudi Arabia to become the biggest source of Chinese crude oil imports last year. It’s also now No. 2 for coal and is likely to become Beijing’s biggest supplier of natural gas this year.

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