As we celebrate the Chinese New Year and welcome in the Year of the Snake, 2013 looks set to once again see demand for tin outstrip supply for the second consecutive year.

According to Edward Meir, senior commodities analyst at INTL FCStone, the outlook for tin looks positive. However, Mr. Meir predicts tin deficits could narrow somewhat this year, but are likely to persist over the long term.

“There are many new tin projects in development scattered all over the world but most are small and take time to develop,” according to Mr. Meir.

The recent decision by Indonesia, one of the biggest global producers of tin, to close around 70 per cent of its smelter capacity in the Bangka-Belitung province, the country’s main tin-producing region, after global prices slipped is yet another factor affecting the supply of tin.

Peru’s San Rafael tin mine, which currently accounts for 10 per cent of the world’s output, has also seen a big drop in production with tonnages falling by 9.6 per cent in 2012 and forecast to drop again this year with the mine due to close in 2017.

This predicted reduction in supply gives projects in development, such as Stellar’s Heemskirk Project in Tasmania all the more reason to quickly advance to production. Stellar will complete its pre-feasibility study on Heemskirk in 2013.
Sources: Tin Investing News, The Australian