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RusAl Issues Warning on Aluminum Imports

RusAl has warned that state support will be needed to boost domestic aluminum output, as foreign producers are on course to increase their share of Russia's market from 39 to 47 percent by 2017, Vedomosti reported Monday.

Sergei Belsky, RusAl's sales director for Russia and the CIS, said in a conference report that Russian production was being held back by high borrowing costs and the impossibility of hedging deals.

The company, the world's largest aluminum producer, wants to see changes in the law to regulate aluminum use and to "stimulate foreign producers to open factories inside Russia." However, the company stressed that it is not asking for tariffs or preferential treatment.

Andrei Shenk, of InvestCafe, blamed inadequate technology for Russia's failure to satisfy its aluminum needs. A total of 412,000 tons of aluminum was imported in 2012, and RusAl estimates that 600,000 tons will arrive in 2017.

RusAl, which reported a loss of $337 million last year, is working with the Industry and Trade Ministry to tackle the problem, said a source in the company.

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