An article by Bloomberg has reported that tin exports from Indonesia were at a three-month low during January 2014. Data compiled by Bloomberg showed that exports of ingots and solder fell 66 per cent to 4,613 tonnes, down from 13,562 tonnes in December 2013. This number is well below the market expectation of 7,000 tonnes.

One possible reason for the low export numbers is the potential impact of the monsoon season in Indonesia. Another is the particularly high December figures, suggesting that stocks were depleted to cover contract shortfalls at the end of last year and some production went into re-stocking rather than being exported.

According to Bloomberg, numbers for January were the lowest since October 2013, when export numbers improved after the Indonesian government ordered tin exporters to trade the metal on the Indonesia Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (ICDX) before being exported. From January 12, 2014, Indonesia has also banned shipments of raw ores to encourage miners to build processing plants.

The International Tin Research Institute (ITRI) has predicted the global tin deficit to rise in 2014, supported by the tin market tightening in January 2014, with the London Metal Exchange (LME) stocks declining to a new five-year low of 8,815 tonnes.

Bloomberg predicts that the reduced supplies from Indonesia may help stem a decline in the LME tin price, which at the time of writing was US$22,275 per tonne.

Source: Bloomberg, Reuters

Indonesian monthly refined tin exports January 2013 to January 2014
Indonesian monthly refined tin exports January 2013 to January 2014