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11 Mar, 2023 10:01

US ally to ban Russian steel, aluminum imports

Canada’s announcement coincides with the implementation of Washington’s previously announced 200% tariff on Russian aluminum
US ally to ban Russian steel, aluminum imports

Canada will restrict imports of aluminum and steel products from Russia in what Ottawa calls an effort to undermine Moscow’s ability to fund its ongoing military operation in Ukraine, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced on Friday.

The ban includes unwrought and sheet aluminum and finished aluminum products, like containers and other household items according to the statement. It also covers iron and non-alloy steel, and semi-finished and finished steel products such as tubes and pipes. Freeland did not specify when the new ban is to take effect.

We continue to do everything we can to cut off or limit the revenue used to fund Putin's illegal and barbaric invasion of Ukraine… Canada, and our partners, have already sanctioned the Russian Central Bank and capped the price of Russian oil and gas. And now, we are ensuring Putin cannot pay for his war by selling aluminum and steel in Canada, in coordination with action taken by the United States today,” Freeland declared.

Canada made the announcement on the same day that a new 200% US customs duty on Russian aluminum and related products came into effect. The measure effectively bans US purchases of the metal from Russia.

According to official data, Canada imported 45 million Canadian dollars ($32.5 million) worth of aluminum and 213 million Canadian dollars ($153.7 million) worth of steel products from Russia in 2021. While Russian metals were not directly targeted by Ukraine-related Western sanctions last year, many buyers nevertheless shunned imports from Moscow. According to S&P Global and Canadian trade statistics data, Canada’s imports of Russian aluminum dropped to about 2,500 metric tons in 2022, from over 9,000 metric tons in both 2020 and 2021. Steel imports plunged to about 36,000 metric tons from over 113,000 metric tons in 2021.

Russia is the world’s second-biggest producer of aluminum after China, with a global market share of nearly 6%. Russian authorities have vowed to respond to sanctions by redirecting metal exports from Western countries to alternative markets, such as China, Türkiye and South East Asia.

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