By Joan Faus
BARCELONA (Reuters) - Major aluminium consumer Constellium's current plan is to keep buying from Russia's Rusal next year as it did in 2022, since it has not been put under sanctions, a Constellium executive told Reuters on Thursday.
Aluminium producer Rusal's metal accounts for less than 5% of Constellium's overall purchases, the executive said, speaking under the condition of anonymity, adding that the share for 2023 would be similar but no final purchasing decision has been made.
"If there is any sanction we will respect it, today there is no sanction so we don't see any reason why we should not get metal from there," the Constellium executive said. "I guess if the economics are good we will continue to work with them".
Hong-Kong listed Rusal, the world’s largest aluminium producer outside China, along with Russian aluminium have not been directly targeted by Western sanctions imposed on Moscow since it sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Nevertheless, some buyers have decided to look elsewhere. Novelis, a division of Hindalco Industries and one of the world’s largest buyers of aluminium, has said it will not accept Russian metal in its European factories in 2023.
"We have hundreds of clients globally, representing one of the strongest and most diverse customer bases in the industry. Our business is not defined by those few who choose to buy their aluminium elsewhere," a Rusal representative told Reuters.
The Constellium executive dismissed any potential reputational damage and was unaware of any potential discounts offered by Rusal.
Some clients of Rusal are securing discounts due to the risk exports could be hit by potential sanctions, a European trader and a Gulf-based producer told Reuters on the sidelines of an aluminium conference in Barcelona on Wednesday.
Constellium's second quarter revenue rose by 50% to 2.3 billion euros ($2.29 billion) while it posted a quarterly net loss of 32 million euros.
($1 = 1.0023 euros)
(This story refiles to correct to show Novelis is a division of Hindalco Industries (not Norsk Hydro), paragraph 5)
(Reporting by Joan Faus, editing by Pratima Desai and Elaine Hardcastle)