Glencore bought aluminium from Rusal worth $1.06bn in 2023

29th April 2024

By: Reuters


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LONDON - Commodities group Glencore bought aluminium from Russian producer Rusal worth $1.06-billion in 2023 as part of their long-term contract, the Russian producer said in an annual report on Friday.

Although Rusal, the world's largest producer outside China accounting for 5.5% of global output, itself is not a target of Western sanctions, some Western clients have been shunning new deals for Russia-made metals since Moscow invaded Ukraine in 2022.

Glencore has been under pressure to stop buying Russian metals. Its contract with Rusal expires this year unless it is extended.

Glencore declined to comment on Friday whether the contract would be extended into 2025. The group said in 2022 it would agree to no new contracts for Russian material but would meet existing obligations.

Last year's purchases by Glencore from Rusal would amount to around 459 000 metric tons, according to a Reuters calculation based on the average London Metal Exchange cash price of $2 307 per ton for 2023.

It is a rough estimate because the price would also include regional premiums, which depend on the destination of shipments. Rusal's 2023 aluminium sales totalled 4.2-million tons.

Dealing in Russian metals has become an increasingly complicated business for traders since 2023 as Western countries continue expanding sanctions on Moscow.

In the latest twist, Washington and London prohibited aluminium, copper and nickel made in Russia after April 13 from being delivered to the LME-registered warehouses.

As the share of Russian aluminium in available stocks in the warehouses was at 91% as of the end of March, the existing stock was excluded from the measures.

However, the new rules defined the existing stock into two separate categories, which created a trading opportunity for Glencore and some other trading houses.

To profit from the rule change, Glencore aimed to take thousands of metric tons of Russian aluminium from the LME warehouses and return it at a later date, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last week.

LME since then clarified the rules for these categories, aiming to stop gaming of the new rules for Russian aluminium.

Edited by Reuters


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