(Bloomberg) -- Russian aluminum giant United Co Rusal International PJSC fears that as much as 36% of its sales may be at risk as a result of sanctions imposed by the UK and US, according to a person close to the company.

Rusal’s preliminary estimate is that the sanctions could impact at least 1.5 million tons of its annual sales, compared to its production of 3.8 million tons last year and sales of 4.2 million tons last year, the person said, asking not to be identified as they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. As a result, Rusal may be forced to reduce its production, the person said, comparing the situation to the global financial crisis that hit demand sharply in 2008. 

The assessment is at odds with most western analysts, who have argued that the sanctions on Russian metals imposed on Friday would have limited impact on underlying supply and demand. 

The US and UK banned new Russian production of aluminum, copper and nickel from being delivered to exchanges including the London Metal Exchange, but the sanctions do not prohibit sales of metal from producers to traders or consumers.

Still, many buyers rely on being able to deliver to the LME, and many physical contracts include clauses that allow buyers to walk away if the producer’s metal ceases to be deliverable. 

One of Rusal’s largest customers is Glencore Plc, which has a longstanding contract to buy large volumes of its output.

Rusal is concerned that Glencore will use the sanctions to invoke the force majeure clause or will attempt to negotiate a discounted price for the metal, a separate person familiar with the matter said.

Rusal’s press service declined to comment. Glencore didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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