The Treasury Department action, aimed at disrupting Russian export revenue from the metals, comes as Washington has sought to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, which has killed or wounded tens of thousands and reduced cities to rubble.

Russia is a major producer of aluminum, copper and nickel.

The Treasury Department said Friday's action would prohibit the London Metal Exchange and Chicago Mercantile Exchange from accepting new Russian production of aluminum, copper, and nickel.

"Metal exchanges provide a central role in facilitating the trading of industrial metals around the globe," the department said in a statement.

Available aluminum stocks in London Metal Exchange-registered warehouses were 91% of Russian origin in March, unchanged from the previous month, LME data showed on Wednesday.

The high share of Russian-origin metal in LME inventories has been a concern for some producers, which compete with Russia's Rusal, and some Western consumers who have avoided Russian metal since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

The share of Russian-origin copper stocks rose to 62% in March from 52% the previous month and the share of Russian nickel rose to 36% from 35% over the same period, the LME said.

(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis and Katharine Jackson in Washington and Polina Devitt in London; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

By Daphne Psaledakis and Polina Devitt