War in Ukraine pushes raw materials to new records

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The invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the multiplication of economic sanctions against Moscow pushed the prices of gas and metals such as aluminium, copper and palladium to reach new all-time highs on Monday.

The price of Brent from the North Sea, reference oil in Euroap, was close to 140 dollars per barrel at the beginning of the Asian session, close to its historical maximum of 147.50 dollars reached in July 2008, before the soaring prices of black gold fell in the markets.

The United States and the European Union are “very actively discussing” the possibility of banning Russian oil imports in response to the invasion of Ukraine, US diplomat Antony Blinken said on Sunday.

However, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was more cautious and avoided mentioning the import ban on Sunday, given that Russia supplies 40% of the gas consumed in the EU.

The fear of seeing even more limited the supply of hydrocarbons and raw materials in an already overheated market has caused a “panic phenomenon (which) has caused prices to skyrocket,” Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson summed up on Monday.

The benchmark European gas price, the Dutch TTF, soared to a new record of €345 per megawatt hour (MWh). By 09:05 GMT, he was up 45% at 280 euros.

In line with energy prices, those of metals produced in Russia rose, with aluminum breaking the $4,000 per tonne barrier for the first time, while copper and palladium hit new all-time highs at $10,845 per tonne. and $3,442.47 per ounce, respectively.

Shortly before 0800 GMT, a tonne of aluminum for three-month delivery hit a high of $4,073.50 on the London Metal Exchange (LME).

For its part, nickel, without reaching its latest highs dating back to 2007, rose more than 25% to 37,800 dollars per tonne.

The situation in Ukraine also caused gold, a haven asset, to soar above $2,000 an ounce on Monday morning, hitting its highest level since September 2020.

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