Europe to prohibit imports of iron, steel from Russia

The European Commission announced its fourth package of restrictive measures against trade with Russia on Friday March 11, in response to that country’s invasion of Ukraine

The package included, along with other measures, a ban on imports of iron and steel from Russia.

“Very importantly, we will prohibit the import of key goods in the iron and steel sector from the Russian Federation,” an official release said. “This will hit a central sector of Russia’s system, deprive it of billions [in] export revenues, and ensure that our citizens [in the EU] are not subsidizing [Russian president Vladimir] Putin’s war.”

Details of which specific iron and steel products would be banned were not announced before the story was published.

“I am not touching Russian steel,” one trader in Europe told Fastmarkets on March 14. “Russia is actively looking for somebody to buy its steel but with zero results.”

Russia normally exports pig iron, steel slab and long steel products to European countries.

The country exported 753,958 tonnes of pig iron to EU countries in 2020, according to data from the International Steel Statistics Bureau (ISSB). It also said that slab exports out of Russia to the EU countries reached 1,391,816 tonnes in 2020.

“With these sanctions, we will continue going after [Russia’s] oligarchs, the regime-affiliated elites, their families and prominent business people, which are involved in economic sectors providing a substantial source of revenue to the regime,” EC President Ursula von der Leyen said.

“They are active in the steel industry, they provide military products and technology or they provide financial and investment services,” she continued. “This is another major blow to the economic and logistic base upon which the Kremlin is building the invasion and taking the resources to finance it.”

Europe has imposed several sanctions on Russian entities and individuals since the start of the Ukraine-Russia war on February 24.

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