Tin Market Update (October 11, 2012)

Tin prices have gained in the last month, with spot tin rising to $22,105 per metric tonne on the London Metal Exchange from $20,275 on September 10, according to Metal-Pages. The metal continues to rebound from the six-month low of $17,125 it reached in July.

Tin supplies continue to be tight after low prices prompted smelters in Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter of the metal, to shut down last summer. That cut the country’s output by 32 percent, to 5,645.87 MT in August from 8,298.47 MT in July, according to Reuters. The smelters are now in the process of restarting, which has helped pull tin back from its closing price of $22,455 on October 5.

Another factor supporting tin prices is rising demand from China. China’s tin imports doubled in June and July, to 3,125 MT, according to recent customs data.

“China’s demand for imports appears to have been rising,” Citigroup analyst David Wilson told Bloomberg in September. “If Chinese production is struggling under lower prices, that tightens the market outside China as Chinese consumers look more and more to import metal.”