Spotlight Boeing: Russia Threatens to Cut Off Titanium

You can only push countries so far before they decide to push back. Russia may do just that.

Russian lawmakers have submitted a wide-ranging bill that could freeze crucial exports to the United States.

The bill, which was drafted by leading lawmakers at the State Duma in response to the new round of U.S. sanctions announced last week, proposes a wide range of restrictions for U.S. businesses in Russia and for cooperation with the U.S. Among them is a proposal to ban or restrict titanium exports that are crucial for U.S. aircraft maker Boeing.

Boeing and other aircraft manufacturers are increasingly reliant on titanium as a strong but lightweight material for use in wing assemblies, steering wheels, hydraulic systems and a number of other parts, CNBC reports.

A Boeing 777 has up to 12 percent of titanium in its airframe, and Russia is the world's largest titanium producer and the main supplier to Boeing.

Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin told Russian news agencies that the bill could be put up for vote next week.

Stop the Nonsense

Sanctions on Russia and tariffs on China are both counterproductive. Nonetheless, here we go again.

Europe may not go along with Russia sanctions, so perhaps the US can get titanium via Europe, at extra cost, if Russia carries out the threat.

At a minimum, expect the price of titanium to rise.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Mish waiting to hear your remarks on Syria.

And I also want to hear something that reaffirms "Mish: have been long Russia for some time. I am holding. Nice time to add actually"

hear! hear! Guess it was awfully nice of Orange Julius to wait until markets were closed to start missile strikes. Daylight is coming soon in Damascus, will see what damage has been done.

well i guess it's not such a "rare" earth after all . the deal is that it is incredibly "messy" to produce. Titanium may be a different story . But don't we have enough old planes sitting in the desert to recycle the metal ?

If anyone thinks mining rare earth metals and titanium from US soils is good they're not seeing the whole picture. Even gold has an evil side. The metals we mine don't just appear in the ground as ore they are nearly always mixed with other metals many of which are extremely poisonous. So frack away and dig up the countryside until all the poisons leach out into our rivers and underwater aquifers so we can all enjoy contaminated tap water and agriculture adulterated with traces of poisonous metals. Our seas are already full of plastics and mercury what's a little extra cadmium in our lettuce. So go ahead, dig it all up, spray it with insecticide, prop it up with preservatives then store it in plastic and let the medical system take care of the increasing cancers and senility in the next generation of Americans. Hooray for infinite growth economics where corporate wealth is all that matters.

"A Boeing 777 has up to 12 percent of titanium in its airframe, and Russia is the world's largest titanium producer and the main supplier to Boeing."

Huh? 12% of the world's supply of titanium is used in each aircraft?

History: Before the American Civil War, cotton was one of the most important traded commodities in the world, and most of it came from the US South. The Confederate States expected to use their control of that commodity to swing the evil Europeans over to their side and have them help defeat the North. But instead the Brits started growing cotton in British-controlled Egypt, and history took its course.

There are lots of all kinds of minerals distributed across the planet. The problem in North America is mainly excessive regulation -- which could be changed with a stroke of the pen. Short-term, Russia could use its position as a titanium supplier to make life difficult for the West; longer-term, Russia would simply be creating competitors and losing market share.

Messy indeed. Rare earths are not so much rare as they are scattered. Yet, gold is mined even if the concentration is 1g per ton of rock with the cyanide method. If you are ready to pay 1000-2000 dollars per ounce, it's possible.

"The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them." Is that statement backwards now or is the world upside down?