Indian stainless steel products blocked in Antwerp
Indian stainless steel products blocked in Antwerp

27 March 2023 – Stainless steel products from India’s Jindal Group are blocked by customs in Antwerp, Europe, because they were apparently destined for Russia. The group is furious, but remains silent on important information about the background. Positive mood on both sides of the Atlantic. And LME restarts overnight trading in nickel.

Indian stainless steel products blocked in Antwerp

Indian stainless steel group Jindal has complained in the press that certain stainless steel products destined for the Russian market have been held in Antwerp, Belgium, for more than a year “without justification” and that the products concerned would not be on any sanctions list.

Sanctions, dual-use items, transportation restrictions, permits.

The Jindal Group forgets to mention that the products in question could be on the European Union‘s dual-use list, which was extended to include the civilian Russian sector shortly after the outbreak of war in Ukraine. Or that the transport of goods to Russia through the EU, which do not originate in the EU, has been restricted and/or requires approval, is also not mentioned. Also the recipient in Russia is not mentioned and whether it belongs to the military or industrial production and possibly is on a sanctions list of the EU.

Which Indian stainless steel products are still being held?

Here, Indian stainless steel manufacturers probably once again wanted to be smarter than the rest of the world and failed due to the sanctions of the European Union and the regulations regarding goods that are on the dual-use list. Since the company is only complaining about a manageable quantity, the question could arise as to what material might still be stuck here in European ports and possibly kept secret from the prying eyes of the public. In addition, a certain moral stance should be maintained and smaller buns should be baked with regard to one’s own trade relations with Russia.

Positive mood on both sides of the Atlantic

Sentiment continues to brighten in the United States and also in the European Union. The U.S. PMI Composite Output Index and the German IFO Business Climate Index climb in part to their highest levels in 10 months. It is also apparent that the US real estate sector continues to perform well. Higher demand for loans due to falling real estate interest rates and higher lending standards, should continue to support the market.

US buyers in positive mood

Significantly more positive sentiment on the part of buyers, manufacturing and service industries is reported from the United States. The US PMI Composite Output Index rises to 53.3 in March, the highest level in 10 months.

EU sentiment significantly better

And the important IFO Business Climate Index, which surveys sentiment among managers in Germany’s key industrial sectors, has also risen again and now stands at 93.3 points. Overall, the mood in the German economy has thus improved significantly since fall 2022.

LME has restarted overnight trading in nickel

The LME has now restarted overnight nickel trading with Asia. After Friday’s run on nickel, which ended in a gain of about 5% and lifted LME nickel back above $23,000/MT, it is moving sideways Monday morning, trading at about $23,500/MT.

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