MOSCOW, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Russian aluminium producer Rusal , hit by U.S. sanctions since April, raised its aluminium exports by 4 percent in October compared to the previous month, Interfax news agency said.
The U.S. Treasury Department in April blacklisted billionaire Oleg Deripaska and eight companies in which he is a large shareholder, including Rusal, citing “malign activities” by Russia.
Rusal is the world’s largest aluminium producer outside China.
The sanctions, the toughest since Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, have been postponed several times as the United States considers excluding Rusal from the blacklist if Deripaska cedes control of the company. The date by which investors must divest their Rusal holdings was last extended to Dec. 12.
Rusal exported 272,000 tonnes last month, Interfax said, citing data from Russian Railways, the state company that operates Russia’s vast railway network.
Rusal discloses its exports on a quarterly basis. It has repeatedly contested the monthly data from Russian Railways, claiming the numbers fail to take into account real sales and other factors.
The data refers to deliveries from Rusal’s plants by rail to port stations, a source close to Rusal said earlier, indicating 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 4 million tonnes of aluminium, of which 42 percent was shipped to Europe. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Dale Hudson)