Russian aluminium company United Co Rusal International is considering selling aluminium directly to London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses in Asia, reported Bloomberg News.
The move comes as the firm faces difficulty in finding commodity buyers.
Even though Rusal was not sanctioned in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, some notable clients in the US and Europe have refrained from purchasing its metal amid the conflict.
At the same time, domestic demand for metal in Russia has dropped, driven by a recession in the country.
As a result, Rusal plans to sell its surplus production to LME.
However, concerns are being raised as large deliveries of the metal to the exchange could result in LME prices ‘diverging from the global aluminium market’.
According to parties familiar with the development, Rusal has held talks for the supply of some aluminium to LME warehouses in Asia from Russia’s far-eastern port of Vladivostok.
The company is considering a pilot test by delivering a small portion of its aluminium production, the parties stated.
LME said it would carry out a constant review of the situation to maintain an orderly market.
Furthermore, the exchange said there is no evidence of LME warehouses being used to ‘offload metal on a long-term basis’.
Earlier this year, RBC TV reported that Russian miner Nornickel is considering a merger with Rusal, which would create a global base metals giant with a combined value of around $60bn and combined revenues of $30bn.
Nornickel is backed by Russian business oligarch Vladimir Potanin.