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Japan buying more Indian aluminum as sanctions keep Rusal out

As U.S. import tariffs and sanctions against United Co. Rusal PLC push companies to change conventional supply routes, Indian aluminum makers such as Vedanta Ltd. are increasing sales to Japan, Reuters reported Oct. 8.

Japanese trade data shows that imports of aluminum ingot from India doubled in the first eight months of 2018 compared to a year ago, while imports of alloy increased 11 times from a tiny amount a year ago, according to the report.

Rusal accounted for about 20% of Japan's aluminum ingot and alloy imports in 2017.

In the past, Japanese clients have generally not perceived the quality of Indian aluminum products to be high enough.

Vedanta executive Samir Cairae said that "because of the sanctions, consumers would like to ensure some security of supply, so they'd like to prefer multiple suppliers instead of one supplier."

Consequently, Japanese trading houses such as Mitsubishi Corp. have been importing supplies from India and other countries.