MOSCOW, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Russian aluminium producer Rusal , under U.S. sanctions since April, increased its aluminium exports by 7 percent in August compared to the previous month, Interfax news agency said.
Rusal, the world’s second-largest aluminium producer, saw its exports and supply chain crippled after Washington put the company and co-owner Oleg Deripaska on a blacklist, seeking to punish Russia for alleged meddling in U.S. elections.
U.S. customers must wind down business with the company by Oct. 23, according to the sanctions.
But aluminium shipments continue in the meantime and Rusal exported 281,000 tonnes last month, Interfax said, citing data from Russian Railways, the state company that operates Russia’s vast railway network.
Between January and August, Rusal’s aluminium exports totalled 1.81 million tonnes, up 18 percent compared to the same period the previous year, Interfax said, citing the data.
Rusal contested the numbers.
“These figures cannot be considered correct as this is unofficial information from Russian Railways, which does not take into account real sales and a range of other factors,” the company said.
Rusal declined to provide its own figures on aluminium exports for August.
Interfax gave no further details about its data. The data probably refers to deliveries of aluminium from Rusal’s plants by rail to port stations, a source close to Rusal said earlier, indicating that the figures do not explain whether the aluminium subsequently crossed the border or was stockpiled near it.
Last year, Rusal, in which Deripaska’s En+ is a controlling shareholder, sold 3.95 million tonnes of aluminium, of which 42 percent was shipped to Europe. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Dale Hudson)