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Published on : Jul 21, 2014

As speculations and concerns of European Union and U.S. sanctions on the trade of non-ferrous metals with Russia loom, the effects are expected to be significant, given the volumes of metals being traded.

According to latest trade data, if the sanctions are stringent, the implications of the same may be far-reaching.

Sample this. In 2013, the United States imported USD 432.92 million worth of unwrought aluminum. The worth of U.S.’s aluminum-related articles being imported stood at USD 538.75 during the same period. The country exported products under the same category to Russia to earn USD 364,875 and USD 9.20 million, respectively. 

And, in 2013, titanium and related items valued at USD 168.38 million were imported in the United States. Of these, subsequent exports to Russia amounted to USD 12.29 million. Other multi-million dollar imports in 2013 were that of ferro-alloys, nickel and related items, and unwrought nickel, and many of these were also exported to Russia. 

However, as per data available from 2011, the United States reported exports of ferro-alloys worth just USD 11,550 to Russia. The country imported unwrought refined copper and copper alloys worth USD 1.4 million from Russia, and exported negligible amounts of the same to Russia in 2013. 

On similar lines, the European Union is also considering clamping down on Russia with trade sanctions in the event the latter makes any further advances against Ukraine. The EU’s imports of aluminum ores, magnesium and related items, and titanium ores from Russia were significant. Given the possibility of U.S. and EU sanctions against Russia, the implications for the metal industry could be grave.