The London Metal Exchange (LME) has announced that it is immediately suspending the issuance of warrants for non-ferrous metals of Russian origin from the exchange's warehouses located in the US, Kallanish notes.

This measure was prompted by the introduction by the United States on 24 February of additional tariffs on Russian metals.

In particular, a 200% duty was introduced on aluminium of Russian origin, as well as aluminium products manufactured in third countries from metal smelted in Russia. In addition, from 1 April, an import duty of 70% will be introduced for copper, nickel and lead of Russian origin, as well as aluminium alloys (in the form of a NASAAC, North American special aluminium alloy contract).

According to the LME, there are currently no Russian primary aluminium, copper, nickel and lead in warehouses in the US. There is only NASAAC (400 tonnes), for which there are no delivery obligations. The exchange is suspending the use of warrants for this alloy for use in futures settlement.

The LME stressed that it is not making any changes to the ability to store Russian metal in warehouses outside the US. The exchange notes that the alleged distortion of the market caused by the refusal of Russian metal from some consumers was not supported by evidence. 

Therefore, the LME does not propose to ban the issuance of warrants for new Russian metal outside of US warehouses, it said in a statement.

Last November, the exchange decided not to impose a ban on metals deliveries from Russia. It noted that market participants are free to make their own decisions about whether to deal with Russian metal.

The ban could affect aluminium, nickel and copper from Russia. Russia's share in the world aluminium market is about 6%, high-grade nickel 17%, and copper about 3%. 

Russian exports of refined copper to the EU countries in January-November amounted to 294,500 t, up by 6% on-year, Eurostat data shows. In January-September, the EU imported 48,303 t of nickel from Russia, up by 17%.