Russia remains Europe’s largest supplier of metals despite sanctions

In March 2024, Russia again ranked among the leading suppliers of metals to the European Union, with sales reaching their highest level since May 2023, RIA Novosti reports.

In March 2024, Europe’s iron and steel imports from Russia surged 70% to €328 mln. The largest buyer was Belgium, which accounted for €130.5 mln, followed by Italy with €85 mln, Denmark with €35 mln, the Czech Republic with €23 mln, the Netherlands with €20 mln and Hungary with €13.7 mln.

The EU’s aluminum imports from Russia also increased significantly, by about 29% compared to the previous year. The increase in supplies to Germany was especially noticeable, as that country’s imports increased fivefold, reaching €22.4 mln. Spain and Poland showed increases of 69% and 21%, respectively.

As before, the main consumers of Russian steel and aluminum are the European construction industry, mechanical engineering, aircraft manufacturing and packaging.

Despite the embargo on the import of a number of steel products from Russia, the EU countries seem to have failed to fully comply with the requirements, although technically, there were no violations because certain types of semi-finished steel products and ferrous metals are exempted from the sanctions. In addition, embargoed goods are often imported via third countries, which makes it possible to circumvent the restrictions.

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