There is no evidence that Russian Federation aluminium titan UC Rusal has been unloading primary aluminium into London Metal Exchange warehouses on a long-term basis. Such was the message relayed by the LME last week in the wake of news reports that Rusal intends to do just that in the near future.
Commenting to Reuters the day after the story was reported on Tuesday, an LME spokesperson said that it is unaware that such a move has been carried out by Rusal.
“We do not currently see any evidence of LME warehouses being used to offload metal on a long term basis.”
Earlier in the week Bloomberg News cited unidentified sources claiming knowledge of the situation that Rusal is considering sending aluminium inventory from its warehouse in Vladivostok to LME warehouses located elsewhere in Asia. According to the sources, Rusal will likely deliver a small portion of aluminium at first to test the waters and to avoid flooding the aluminium market and tanking the global price for the commodity.
Rusal has lately faced tremendous pushback from the international community due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. Though not under sanction itself, Russian firms generally have found themselves scrambling to find new buyers as attitudes toward Vladimir Putin and the Russian government have soured.
As to the LME, it says it will continue to monitor the situation, noting that movement of aluminium has remained largely steady for the past year.
“Our priority is to maintain an orderly market for the benefit of all market participants. We will, therefore, keep the situation under constant review.”
Rusal did not respond to Reuters when asked to comment upon the situation.