Sunday, April 21, 2024

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    West excludes a Russian oligarch from sanctions

    The sanctions imposed by the West on some Russian companies and the wealthy, in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, have excluded Russian metal giant Norilsk Nickel. the world’s largest supplier of nickel and palladium, two metals essential to electric car batteries and semiconductors.

    Russia’s MMC Norilsk Nickel produces a significant portion of its greener transportation metals and computer chips from its base in the former Soviet Arctic camp.

    So far, the United States and its allies have not imposed sanctions on the company, or its oligarchical CEO, highlighting the dilemma that some analysts say governments face as they seek to punish Russia without harming its access to basic goods, says the Wall Street Journal.

    The company is responsible for about 5 percent of the annual global production of nickel, a major component of electric vehicle batteries. The company, also known as Nornickel, also produces energy transmission minerals such as cobalt and copper.

    Russia is the largest producer of palladium, which is used in catalytic converters and semiconductors. Moscow-based Nornickel made up 40 percent of global mining production of the metal last year.

    Reuters says Russia’s Nornickel is the world’s largest supplier of palladium.

    The price of these minerals has jumped since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine amid fears. Western sanctions or logistical difficulties stemming from the conflict could choke supplies.

    On Monday, gold prices crossed the two thousand dollar limit for the first time in a year and a half, as investors sought that safe haven after the escalating Russian-Ukrainian crisis, while fears of a halt in palladium supplies pushed to an all-time high.

    Palladium rose 4.3 percent to $3,130.16 an ounce, after hitting an all-time high of $3,172.22 earlier in the session.

    Last Friday, nickel traded at its highest level in a decade, and is up 37 percent so far this year.

    Despite the rise in metal prices, Nornickel’s share price is down 17 percent so far this year. Like the prices of other Russian commodity companies.

    The decline is likely to be more severe, given the suspension of trading in shares listed in Moscow several days ago, due to their lower prices.

    Several Western companies, according to the Wall Street Journal, say they are looking to diversify their supply away from Nornickel, in light of a trend in many commodities, including oil and steel, as Western buyers are turning away from Russian suppliers amid fears of sanctions or difficulty Take out products from the country.

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