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Eastern Europe

A series of attacks on infrastructure in many areas of Ukraine has interrupted supplies of lighting, heating, internet and water. In some areas, heating and water supplies are being scheduled for turning on and off at certain times of the day; in others, the blackouts are random. Most brass and aluminium semi-finished producers are being forced to delay the execution of their contract obligations owing to these unscheduled blackouts and difficulties in restarting furnaces.

In Poland, many cities are continuing with their energy-saving plans; new measures introduced since the previous Mirror include reduced highway lighting and street lighting from 11pm to 5am outside city centres. With soaring energy costs, the air quality in Poland is getting worse; on November 28, several Polish cities were among the top 10 most air-polluted. The reason for this is using coal for heating and leaning towards the cheapest possible coal and technology (even despite environmental fines) to save money.

Copper market activity has been elevated owing to higher LME levels and year-end considerations. Supply of aluminium scrap is lower than usual because people are tending to keep their cars for longer periods and many of the older vehicles that would usually go for dismantling were sent to Ukraine.

In Russia, the first round of the military draft has been officially completed, but people who left the country to escape it are not rushing to return given rumours of a second round starting in January. Plots of industrial land around Astana in Kazakhstan are being bought heavily by Russian citizens as businessmen prepare a plan B in case the draft continues.

Meanwhile, there are barely any exports out of Russia. With interrupted international trading, price formation within the country is no longer following international trends and is way less dependent on the LME.