New 200% US aluminium Section 232 tariffs also on end products
New 200% US aluminium Section 232 tariffs also on end products

1 March 2023 – The new US Section 232 duties of 200% affect not only primary aluminium, but also intermediate and end products made with Russian aluminium. When can nickel still be mined economically? And Chinese stainless steel rolling mills have to stop production due to a lack of primary materials.

Aluminium tariffs of 200% bring major challenges

The London Metal Exchange has announced on its website that it will unlist metals originating in Russia from US warehouses, following the publication of new US tariffs on Russian metal products and an extension of the Section 232 duties. However, it continues to reject a complete ban on Russian commodities from the trading floor so as not to cause global trade dislocation. Whether this is still valid as an argument after the extensive adjustments to the Section 232 tariffs remains to be seen.

Products containing Russian aluminium also affected

Buyers of Russian aluminium must nevertheless exercise great caution in the future if their target market is in the United States. The addition of aluminium to the Section 232 duties also means that products made from or with Russian aluminium will be subject to the same 200% duties as direct imports into the United States. Processors of Russian aluminium can only avoid this if the country of origin also imposes a 200% import duty on corresponding products.

Problems expected for downstream producers

This could lead to greater challenges, especially in the European Union or Switzerland, which obtain or have obtained a not inconsiderable share of their aluminium imports from Russia. But it could also become a problem for Asian countries such as India or China that export to Europe or the United States in their supply chains, as not only primary products but also finished goods will be affected by the new Section 232 duties.

Canadian nickel deposit economically mineable?

We are currently sceptical about the report of a new large nickel deposit in Canada. The nickel content of the allegedly significant deposit averages about 0.21%. Please explain to us whether an economic mining with such a low nickel content can be realised in an economic, sustainable and environmentally friendly way.

Large French fund pulls out of Indonesian nickel investment

A large French fund has just announced that it is withdrawing from its nickel investments in Indonesia. And this is due to economic aspects in a region where the nickel content is almost nine times as high as in the Canadian fund. We’ll take a closer look in the coming days.

Stainless steel: Scarce availability of starting material in China

Due to shutdown stainless steel mills in China, rolling mills there are currently having difficulties obtaining starting material for the production of flat-rolled stainless steel. This has now caused at least two major rolling mills to reduce or stop production altogether.

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