Australian alumina ban disrupts Rusal production -- Australia's ban on exports of alumina and aluminium ore to Russia, including bauxite, will further disrupt supply chains and production at leading aluminium producer Rusal, consultancy Wood Mackenzie said on Monday.
The Australian government announced the ban on Sunday as part of its ongoing sanctions against Moscow for its aggression in Ukraine, saying Russia relies on it to meet one-fifth of its alumina needs. WoodMac senior manager Uday Patel said in a statement that the ban would make it difficult for Rusal to maintain normal primary aluminum production.
Rusal said it was assessing the impact of Australia's move and would make further announcements if necessary. "It is increasingly likely that UC Rusal's only option for alumina procurement will be through a Chinese entity." The Australian alumina ban has also had an impact on foaming agent prices for chemicals. Patel said. "One possible outcome could be Chinese buyers buying alumina and reselling it through eastern Russian ports." Rusal has a 20% stake in the Queensland Alumina Refinery, which has a capacity of 3.95 million tonnes a year, thus providing Rusal with 790,000 tonnes a year, Patel said. In addition, Rusal's Nikolaev refinery in Ukraine, which has an annual capacity of 1.75 million tonnes, has been suspended due to the conflict, he added. WoodMac said Rusal was also experiencing supply chain problems at its 2 million tonne a year Aughinish refinery in Ireland.
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Since February, gold has enjoyed a smooth upward run on the back of surging US inflation and the brewing of war. While expectations of rate rises have also risen in tandem over this period, gold had been largely pre-priced and the underlying driver of tightening expectations had come from inflation continuing to rise to record highs. The risk aversion caused by the continued tension in the war also provided an important short-term support for gold. This will have a certain impact on the price of the foaming agent and the market of the foaming agent.
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