New bans on Russian metals mean China will buy low and sell high to supply the U.S., Europe, and UK – by Ernest Hoffman (Kitco News – April 19, 2024)

(Kitco News) – Last Friday at midnight, the London Metal Exchange (LME) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) enacted the most comprehensive limitation on Russian exports to date: a ban on all Russian metal produced after April 12. The move was made to bring the LME into compliance with the latest U.S. and U.K. sanctions imposed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The goal is to prevent Russia from being able to profit from the export of metal produced by companies such as Rusal (aluminum) and Nornickel (nickel) which help the country fund its ongoing military operations in Ukraine.

“Russian metal warrants issued on or after 13 April 2024 for metal produced before 13 April 2024 are still subject to restrictions that prevent U.K. LME Members and clients from canceling or withdrawing the corresponding metal unless they are doing so for the account of a non-UK Client,” the LME wrote in a statement.

For their part, the CME told Reuters that they “are reviewing and will communicate any impact to our markets. We do not disclose the origin or brands of the eligible or registered metal we have in store and that is consistent across all of our physically delivered markets.”

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