By Alexander Miller, consultant in emerging markets, for Eurasia Business News, March 11, 2023

Canadian authorities have adopted a ban on imports of aluminum and steel from Russia. The document is published on the Canadian government’s website. The ban comes into effect on March 10, 2023.

The Department of Finance of Canada considers that by adopting such a measure, Ottawa limits the flow of income to the Russian economy and state.

The import ban into Canada applies to all Russian aluminum products, such as unwrought aluminum, aluminum foil and finished products, including aluminum containers and other household items. Also prohibited are all primary products made of Russian steel, including iron and non-alloy steel, semi-finished products and finished products such as tubes and pipes.

Pursuant to amendments to the Federal Special Economic Measures Regulations, it is prohibited to import, purchase or acquire iron, steel, aluminum and products from Russia from Russian suppliers not only to citizens of Canada but also to all residents of Canada. No company operating in Canada can now import these metals from Russia.

According to Canada’s Department of Finance, in 2021, the country imported $45 million worth of Russian aluminum. The cost of metal products imported from Russia was $213 million.

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Such an import ban is expected to cause higher metal prices in the Canadian market while corporate customers identify new suppliers. The Canadian Consumer Price Index rose 5.9% in annual terms last January, following a 6.3% increase in December 2022.

On February 23, Canada’s federal government had already banned the export to Russia of certain chemical elements for electronics and prohibited the import, purchase or acquisition of Russian weapons, ammunition and other weapons, wherever they are located or processed, from Russia or any person registered in Russia.

Russian steel and aluminum are under restrictions from other Western countries. The United States in its sanctions package, timed to coincide with the anniversary of the special operation in Ukraine, from March 10 introduced a 200% duty on the import of aluminum products from Russia, and from April 10, the same amount of duty will apply to products that are made from Russian raw materials. Bloomberg in October last year wrote that Washington considered the option of a complete ban on aluminum imports from Russia.

The European Union imposed a ban on the supply of products from Russian steel and iron in March last year. Then the molds and profiles of iron and non-alloy steel fell under the embargo; tin products; various types of steel sheets; products made of reinforcement and wire; welded and seamless pipes.

In October 2022, the EU expanded the list of steel products prohibited for import: steel slab (used for the production of flat products) and square billet (used for the production of reinforcement) were added to the list. However, the embargo on them will begin to operate only in 2024.

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