Qatari aluminium firm Qatalum may start direct shipments of metals from its plant to unblock exports halted by a regional diplomatic row, a spokesman for Norway's Norsk Hydro said.
Until now, the aluminium has been exported by ships from Qatar to the Jebel Ali port in the United Arab Emirates, where it was transferred to larger vessels for exports to customers in Asia, Europe and the United States.
The UAE port was no longer available after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and other broke off relations with Qatar on Monday. In addition to direct shipments, other export options may include the use of a different regional hub, the Hydro spokesman said. Hydro owns a 50 percent stake in Qatalum.
Meanwhile, the export of fertilisers from Qatari producer Qafco is unaffected by a regional diplomatic row that has cut off other commodity shipments, Norway's Yara said. Yara has a 25-percent stake in Qafco. "We have no logistics problems. Production from that facility is shipped from a dedicated port (in Qatar)," said a Yara spokesman.
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