European Aluminium, a prominent industry group, has called for the European Union (EU) to expand its import bans on Russian aluminium. The statement was made on Friday, highlighting concerns that the current proposals for sanctions are insufficiently comprehensive.
The EU is presently discussing a 12th package of sanctions, proposed by the European Commission. These sanctions are expected to include bans on imports of diamonds and liquefied propane, along with measures to reinforce the implementation of a price cap on Russian oil. However, the group stresses that the proposed bans, which focus on aluminium wires, tubes, and pipes, represent just 12% of the EU’s aluminium imports from Russia.
Paul Voss, the Director General of European Aluminium, emphasized the need for urgent action.
“We strongly encourage the European Union to accelerate its efforts and broaden their scope to cover all major product categories.”
The industry has begun reducing dependence on Russian aluminium, with imports from January to August dropping by a third compared to the same period in 2022. This data, provided by European Aluminium, shows that for ingots, Russia accounted for 9% of all EU imports, a decrease from the 25% in previous years.
In the initial nine months of the year, the EU imported almost 500,000 metric tons (approximately 551,155 short tons) of Russian aluminium and aluminium products, valued at 1.26 billion euros (about US$1.37 billion), per Eurostat data. The total value of imports for 2022 was around 2.84 billion euros.
Back in July, European Aluminium had contemplated urging for EU sanctions specifically on Russian aluminium, excluding the major producer Rusal. This consideration was due to the feasibility of substituting other supplies for Russian ingots in Europe, and the complex nature of sanctioning Rusal, which accounts for approximately 6% of the global supply with an output of 4 million metric tons (about 4.41 million short tons) of primary aluminium last year.
The latest statement from European Aluminium did not specifically mention Rusal. The group’s members include key industry players such as refiners, smelters, manufacturers of semi-finished products, and recyclers. Among these are leading producers like Hydro, Alcoa, and Rio Tinto.