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Eastern Europe

The recent LME rally has caused some trouble for business, with margin calls making the already-tight credit situation even worse. Scrap suppliers in Poland, many of whom are not extensive users of hedging, are reporting difficulties in finding good sales for their metal which reflect the LME’s rapid upturn. Weak export sales, especially to Asian markets, have pushed Eastern European suppliers into looking to the EU for outlets for their material. Also, higher LME levels have not helped much to increase scrap availability for copper units.

For Russian exporters of aluminium ingots, there has been a slow improvement from the low export levels reported in the previous Mirror; brass ingot manufacturers, however, are finding it hard to feed their foundries, often losing the battle for scrap to those factories operating locally.

Transportation remains a major problem for Ukraine, with queues of trucks still very evident at the border. The same is true for the Belarus-Poland/Lithuania borders, with all crossings currently taking around three weeks.