Boeing suspends buying titanium from Russia, assures of ‘sufficient supply’

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Boeing Co said on Monday it has suspended buying titanium from Russia, a move that could have ramifications for the planemaker’s relationship with its largest supplier of the commodity, VSMPO-Avisma.

“Our inventory and diversity of titanium sources provide sufficient supply for airplane production,” the planemaker said in an emailed statement.

The potential for disruptions to Russian commodity supplies, following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, has thrown a spotlight on the metal used in the aerospace, marine and auto industries.

VSMPO-Avisma in a statement said it “regrets” the suspension of contracts with long-term partner.

“We have been monitoring the situation in our country and worldwide, and we were prepared for this outcome.”

There are, however, no sanctions yet on the Russian supplier, which is owned 25% by state conglomerate Rostec.

The titanium supplier is now reorienting its sales policy to other markets, according to its statement.

Meanwhile, Boeing’s European rival Airbus SE said it was directly sourcing titanium from Russia as well as other countries.

“This (sourcing) is done in accordance with all sanctions and applicable export control regulations in place,” Airbus said.

Boeing said last month it was not concerned about the potential supply disruptions as it had diversified its titanium supply chain since 2014, when Russia was sanctioned for its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

(By Kannaki Deka, Pratima Desai and Tim Hepher; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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