USA extends deadline for Rusal sanctions, aluminum prices dive

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The US statement also adds pressure on Deripaska as he tries to save the company without surrendering control.

The price of aluminium dropped by almost 10 per cent yesterday, its biggest one-day drop in eight years, after the United States signalled plans to relax sanctions against Rusal.

Washington's clarification follows two weeks of chaos in global metal markets, during which manufacturers scrambled to secure supply.

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After the announcement, the price of Aluminum rose from $2050 per ton in the London Metal Exchange (LME) to as high as $2720 per ton. He owns 48 percent of Rusal and controls it through a shareholder agreement with others including British mining firm Glencore and another Russian oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg, who is also under sanctions. The price of Aluminum declined to $2261 per ton in LME, while the price of Rusal rose as much as 37 percent in Hong Kong, and now trading at HKD2.07.

As a result of these sanctions, Rusal is not permitted to sell material into the United States and its assets under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen.

Deripaska has denounced Treasury's charges as "ridiculous" and Russian Federation has described the US sanctions a thinly veiled attack on its economy.

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Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at German lender Commerzbank, said the Treasury's announcement should calm things down. Deripaska's spokeswoman wasn't immediately available.

Rusal was one of several firms to be hit with punitive sanctions earlier this month as part of a range of measures created to hit back at the Kremlin following its meddling in elections, cyberattacks, and military actions in Ukraine and Syria.

At Russia's request, Mnuchin met with Siluanov during International Monetary Fund meetings in Washington last week. "It looks as if there was a lot of pressure from the U.S. aluminum downstream industry", he told the news agency Bloomberg. The Russians were seeking "clarification" on USA sanctions, Mnuchin said to reporters Saturday, without elaborating.

Rusal now has more time to sell off its supply. "It shows that Rusal is trying get off the list".

The Treasury also said it will not impose secondary sanctions on companies outside the United States that do business with Rusal and its subsidiaries.

Currently, approximately 40 percent of palladium supply comes from Russian Federation, mostly as a by-product from nickel-mining activities.

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