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LME bans Russian nickel from approved UK warehouses

London Metal Exchange. (Image by HM Treasury, Flickr.)

The London Metal Exchange (LME) has banned Russian nickel from its two approved warehouses in the UK exported on or after July 20.

The decision follows an April 1 resolution that blocked other Russian metals, including copper, lead, primary aluminum and aluminum alloy from British warehouses.

The exchange said there was currently no Russian nickel stored in approved British warehouses, located in Hull and Liverpool.

The LME noted, however, that anyone receiving Russian nickel from the UK risks being hit with very high additional costs.

Russia supplies roughly 10% of the world’s nickel, 6% of its aluminum and around 3.5% of its copper. A ban on Russian metals could lead to shortages and fresh price surges at a time of global inflation.

Nickel prices have been climbing since the start of the year due to strong demand and inventory draws. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 provided a further push.

The surge to a record above $100,000 a tonne in chaotic trade on March 8, triggered by China’s Tsingshan Holding Group and others cutting their short positions, led the LME to suspend trading for more than a week.

(With files from Reuters)