US, EU sanctions on Russia impact gas, oil, currency & more
What has the Russian economy been experiencing since the implementation of the sanctions?
Sanctions that were implemented by the EU, US, Canada, Australia and other western allies on Russia come with the aim to suppress the Russian economy - how has that been going so far? We look at the impacts from a number of economic and industrial angles, including steel, oil, gas, currency exchange and more.
Severstal, one of Russia's largest steel-producing companies, announced in a statement that the company can no longer supply products to the European Union after sanctions were imposed on its owner, Alexey Mordashov.
"We decided to officially confirm that supplies to the EU were suspended due to sanctions imposed on the shareholder. The flow of goods will be redirected to alternative global markets," the statement said.
A source close to the company told TASS news agency that shipments to both companies and traders have been suspended: Under the law, Severstal's EU contractors do not have the right to acquire the company's products, according to the source. The products are likely to be reallocated to Middle Eastern, Asian and South African markets.
Since the start of the military operation in Ukraine, the EU has enforced a number of sanctions on Russia, blacklisting politicians, businessmen, TV anchors and military personnel. Not only were Russia's assets in Europe frozen, but their entry and transit are now also off-limits for the government.
Gas prices have been at a hike since the start of the crisis. According to the ICE exchange, based in London, the price of April futures for gas in Europe will surpass 60%, a historic maximum that costs $2,226 per one thousand cubic meters on Wednesday.
At 08:58 GMT, the price of futures on the TTF index has reached a peak, $2,226, which is 59.4% higher than the settlement price the previous day, which was set at $1,396.5 per thousand cubic meters.
According to spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov, Gazprom continues to provide Russian gas for transit to Europe through Ukraine as usual.
"Gazprom supplies Russian gas for transit to Europe through Ukrainian territory as per normal, in accordance with requests of European consumers - 109.4 mln cubic meters as of March 2," he said.
The allocated volume of the gas is slightly higher than deliveries under long-term booking for gas transit, according to TASS. This news comes although Europe, particularly Germany, is vowed to rely less on Russian gas.
Currency exchange rates: all-time high broken
At the start of the conflict, the Russian ruble dipped 9% against the dollar, to which the Russian central bank responded directly with drastic measures to stabilize the currency.
The Russian ruble hit a new low on Monday as Western countries decided to prevent some Russian banks from using a major global payment system. The US Treasury Department also imposed new penalties against Russia's central bank on Monday.
The ruble was trading at 97 to the dollar on Tuesday, up more than 10% from the previous day's low of 108.02 per dollar. After closing early on Monday, Russian markets remained closed on Tuesday.
Today, Wednesday, the ruble is plunging to a new low, exchanging a dollar at 110 rubles and a euro at 122 rubles, according to Moscow Stock Exchange.
The Russian operation in Ukraine triggered soaring oil prices and investors to shift money into ultra-safe US government bonds. The oil prices surged above $110 a barrel after Russia faced economic damage and isolation.
On Wednesday, it was noted that the price for May 2022 futures contracts for Brent crude oil increased 5.83% on the ICE Exchange, increasing to $111.09 a barrel.
The last time Brent crude prices exceeded $111 per barrel was in July 2014.
According to a Wednesday statement released by Russia's top lender, Sberbank has taken the decision to leave the European market.
"In the current situation Sberbank decided to leave the European market. The group’s affiliates are facing an abnormal outflow of funds and the security threat for staff and offices," the bank said.
Sberbank, according to the statement, will not provide liquidity to European affiliates from the decision onwards.
"Meanwhile Sberbank’s affiliates have a high level of capital and quality of assets, clients’ deposits are ensured in conformity with local law. The bank’s assets are sufficient for making payments to all depositors," the bank said.