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Why would trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel slip through a huge 15% import duty on aluminium sheet products in the very last government gazette of 2020? Is it because the state is the biggest shareholder in Hulamin, our only producer of aluminium sheet products and can’t compete? Why is industrial policy happening behind closed doors? It seems inevitable that if you take price pressure off local producers by protecting them from imports, then prices in SA will rise. Peter Bruce asks international metals trader and Hulamin shareholder Volke Shütter and the answers are brilliant.

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