Aluminum Prices Soar After Biden Says "Major" Sanctions Package Against Russia Is Imminent

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Feb 22, 2024 - 10:45 AM

Aluminum and nickel futures rose on Wednesday after President Biden's announcement that the US is planning to introduce a fresh round of sanctions against Russia in response to the sudden death of opposition leader Alexey Navalny in a Russian jail. 

On Tuesday, Biden told reporters at the White House about plans for a "major" sanctions package against Moscow set to be unveiled on Friday but didn't comment on targeted industries or other specifics. 

According to Bloomberg, commodity traders have been waiting for a new round of trade restrictions on Russian metals since the UK moved in December to block British individuals and entities from trading physical metals from Russia, including aluminum, copper, and nickel. The UK has hinted at a coordinated action with Western partners against Russian metals. 

Aluminum prices on the London Metal Exchange jumped more than 2% on Wednesday after surging in response to Biden's comments on Tuesday. Nickle futures were also up nearly 2%. 

Li Jiahui, an analyst at Shanghai Metals Market, told Bloomberg: "Prices are rising on the Biden news as investors are assessing the potential measures and impact," adding, "Investors are awaiting for the specific measures to land."

Earlier on Tuesday, White House spokesman John Kirby said that sanctions would be designed "to hold Russia accountable for what happened to Mr. Navalny."

Also, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the "substantial package" of sanctions would cover "different elements of the Russian defense-industrial base and sources of revenue for the Russian economy" that power Moscow's "war machine." 

Meanwhile, the ineffectiveness of the West's sanctions against the Russian economy is an awakening sign that neocon Washington elites believe they can do more of the same and expect different results. This is called insanity.