US sanctions Russian nickel and copper producer
US sanctions Russian nickel and copper producer

21 July 2023 – The United States has imposed sanctions on one of Russia’s main copper and nickel producers. A possible exemption for India from the EU Carbon Border Tax CBAM is likely to be off the table with the announcement of a massive capacity expansion in stainless steel.

US sanctions Russian copper and nickel producers

The United States on Thursday, 20 July 2023, imposed sanctions on Russian copper and nickel producer Joint Stock Company Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC). In 2020, UMMC accounted for about 40% of Russian copper production.

UMMC important nickel producer

UMMC also produces nickel products with a Ni content (e.g. ferronickel) of 65,000 MT per year, accounting for about a quarter of Russian nickel. Russia’s largest producer Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) came in at just under 218,000 MT in 2022, according to its own figures.

Indian stainless steel on the verge of capacity leap?

According to media reports, the Indian government recently tried to negotiate with the European Union (EU) about an exemption from the EU Carbon Border Tax (CBAM), which will start in October 2023. One reason for this is that the introduction of CBAM is currently expected to increase the price of Indian steel and stainless steel by up to 35%.

India wants to drastically increase stainless steel output

The Indian steel ministry may now have given the European stainless steel producers enough ammunition to raise a stink in Brussels. The planned Indian capacity expansion to 30 million tonnes of stainless steel per year is likely to be a huge thorn in the side of the EU mills. Moreover, Indian stainless steel is considered to be particularly CO2-intensive due to the high proportion of fossil fuels used in its production.

After the massive increase in Chinese stainless steel imports in 2022 into the European Union, the jump in which is very likely to trigger a review of the existing anti-dumping measure against China or possibly even initiate its own anti-dumping case, the EU mills are also likely to take swift action against this Indian capacity expansion.

No interest in CO2 reduction in India?

Because whether Indian stainless steel will be produced much more cleanly in the near future remains more than questionable. Because with the increased import figures for dirty crude oil from Russia, India still does not seem to have arrived on the green track.

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