The UK imposed an additional 35% import duty on certain types of Russian rolled metal and metals in order to block annual deliveries of 720 tons of Russian copper, 3900 tons of aluminum, 7600 tons of lead, just over 700 thousand tons of iron ore and 110 thousand tons of steel .
Since the UK's share of Russian metals, which it is effectively pushing out of its market, is minimal and ranges from 0.5% for aluminum to even less for copper, 1.7% for steel and 10% for iron ore, this step is not will create a shortage in the UK market.
London's new measures are aimed at hurting the Russian economy, but in fact the 35% tariff increase is more or less neutral for Russia as well, given the traditionally small share of the British market in the export basket of metals.
In 2021, Russia exported to the UK 450,000 tons of refined copper and copper alloys, 5,100 tons of copper powder and flakes, and 212,000 tons of copper products, including wire rod, wire, wire products, as well as ropes, sheets, strip and foil, pipes and pipe fittings. The share of shipments to the UK amounted to 0.15% of the total volume of Russian copper exports
Out of 373,500 tons of rolled aluminum, including rods, profiles, wire, sheets, foil, pipes, fittings and cord, that Russia sold to the external market, only 1% (3,850 tons) ended up in the UK. This volume is also insignificant for imports of aluminum products to the UK, averaging 770,000 tons per year.
The consumption of raw lead from Russia in the UK is only slightly higher: in 2021, the Western country bought 7,600 tons, which is 5.5% of the 140,000 tons of exports of lead ingots from Russia that year. Purchases by the UK of Russian lead plates, foil, powder and flakes in the amount of 1 ton amounted to 13% of the 7600 tons of exports of these products from Russia.
In 2021, Russia exported 27 million tons of iron ore concentrate, of which 715,290 tons or 2.6% were sold to the UK. The volume represents 10% of the UK's annual iron ore and concentrate imports.
None of the 3.74 million tons of Russian direct reduced iron outside the Eurasian Union was shipped to the UK. The UK also did not import any of the 15.3 million tons of Russian exports of semi-finished steel products, including carbon, alloy and corrosion resistant grades.
In 2021, Russia exported 3.5 million tons of rolled steel, wire rod, long products and wire. The UK bought 1.5%, or 47,900-48,000 tons of this volume. It also purchased 60,700 tons, or less than 1%, of Russia's 7.88 million tons of flat steel exports.
Of the 1 million tons of steel and cast iron pipes and 172,000 tons of rails shipped from Russia in 2021, the amount destined for the UK was also insignificant: only 267 tons and 29 tons respectively.
Silver exports from Russia to the UK have already been halted since March 7.
In general, additional import duties on copper, aluminium, lead, silver, iron, steel and iron ore will help the UK remove more than 800,000 tons of Russian ferrous and non-ferrous metals annually from its market.