Steel: EU sanctions against Russian intermediate products
Steel: EU sanctions against Russian intermediate products

4 September 2023 – From the end of September, new EU sanctions against Russian steel products will come into force – this time against steel and iron precursors in finished products. The latest US labour market data point to easing and Asian nickel prices rose again.

US labour market data point to relief

The latest US labour market data for August 2023 point to an easing of the situation, according to an assessment by Deutsche Bank. Even though the unemployment rate rose slightly by 0.3 percentage points, it is still at a very low level of 3.8% and close to full employment. The increase in the newly registered labour force by about 500,000, which raised the labour force participation rate to 62.8%, can also be seen as positive. These should be gratefully received by the labour market in the near future.

Commodity prices remain positive

The market also reacted positively to the US jobs data, with the LME Nickel, for example, rising by almost 2% on Friday. SHFE nickel also rose by about 3% today (Monday).

Steel: EU sanctions against Russian intermediate products

The recent regulation (EU) 2023/1214 of the European Union regarding sanctions against Russia has once again shown how important it is to look carefully where and what one buys. Especially in such a case, the supposedly cheapest offer can end up costing you everything.

No more intermediate products with Russian origin permitted

From 30 September 2023, importers into the European Union will have to prove that their goods do not contain certain sanctioned primary or intermediate products from Russian production. The sanctions affect almost the entire range of iron and steel products originating in Russia.

India: 400% more iron and steel imports from Russia?

Indian steel traders in particular seem to have seized the opportunity and bought Russian steel in the last 12 months. This has caused imports of iron and steel from Russia to India to rise by almost 400% compared to the previous year. 

Will possible free trade agreement now be overturned?

Against this background, we are not the only ones to question the negotiations on a free trade agreement between the EU and India. The Directorate-General Trade (DG-Trade) of the European Commission (EC) may also find it difficult to justify other preferential treatment sought by the Indian government with regard to iron and steel. 

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