During the International Tin Reasearch Institute (ITRI) Investing in Tin Seminar, held in London on Friday 29 November, various speakers painted a brighter outlook for tin prices in 2014 over 2013.
Commodity Research Unit (CRU) got the ball rolling with a macroeconomic outlook calling for stronger growth from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. South East Asia and Africa are expected to provide spice to this outlook, rather than Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC countries) as has been the case up until 2011. Under the CRU scenario, annual tin demand growth is expected to return two per cent after a very flat 2012 and an only slightly better 2013.
Both BNP Paribas and ITRI thought that supply constraints would again be a feature of the market and result in an increased market deficit of up to 12,000 tonnes in 2014 (compared to an estimate of 7,000 tonnes in 2013).
In conclusion, an average annual price estimate of US$26,000/tonne was offered for 2014 by ITRI – suggesting that at some stage during the year the tin price would rise well above this level. Longer-term, ITRI believe that hybrid battery technology is likely to become a significant driver of tin demand growth with lead-acid, lithium-ion, magnesium-ion and sodium-ion all using various amounts of tin in their formulations.