Ukraine calls on the US to impose sanctions against Russian titanium

The Ukrainian company Velta, which owns two deposits of ilmenite (titanium raw material) in Ukraine, is trying to get a ban on the purchase of Russian titanium in the United States and Europe. To do this, the firm hired lobbyists in Washington back in May.

The consulting firm Yorktown Solutions is to help Ukrainians prove that Russian titanium companies are sponsoring the war in Ukraine and that the West is dangerously dependent on metal from Russia. Another task is to demonstrate the ability of Kyiv to close falling volumes if partnerships are established with the private and public sectors of the United States.

The initiative of the Ukrainian company may turn out to be unsuccessful, since Western countries are seriously dependent on Russian titanium and are unlikely to quickly find an alternative to it. Now the largest player in this market is the Russian VSMPO-Avisma, which in 2020 supplied 70% of its products to aircraft and space corporations such as Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, Safran.

After February 24, 2022, some organizations stopped working with Russians, but there was no massive outflow of clients. Theoretically, instead of Avisma, Western firms can establish cooperation with the Japanese Toho Titanium, American ATI Metals and RTI International Metals.

The Ukrainian “Velta” accounts for 2% of the world’s supply of titanium raw materials. It mainly cooperates with chemical companies, although it plans to move to a higher level, develops its production and is negotiating with partners from the USA to increase orders.

After the outbreak of hostilities, Ukrainian business began to actively lobby its interests in the United States. Thus, the chairman of the All-Ukrainian Agrarian Council, Andriy Dikun, hired lobbyists to assist in obtaining assistance to the agricultural sector of Ukraine and indemnification for the losses caused by the conflict with the Russian Federation. Kyivstar hired the same Yorktown Solutions to look for “direct and indirect assistance” to the telecommunications infrastructure.

Argus wrote after the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine that it was difficult to completely get away from Russian titanium, given the scale of its market share and product base, although companies such as Toho Titanium in Japan and ATI Metals and RTI International Metals in Japan could be attracted as alternative suppliers. USA. In addition, European aerospace manufacturers Safran and Airbus recently acquired Aubert & Duval to overhaul their metal supply chains. Kommersant’s source on the market says that there is simply no free capacity for aircraft-grade titanium in the world. And after the transition of Boeing to Japanese raw materials, manufacturers will have even fewer opportunities if they refuse Russian metal.


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