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The Tech Boom Is Sending Tin Prices Into The Stratosphere

Tin prices have soared to a record high on the LME, closing last week at $34,177 per metric ton.

The closing price marked an increase of 12.56% month over month.

As we’ve noted in previous reports, increasing consumer demand for electronics has supported the tin price. Tin is also used as solder for joining pipes and electric circuits.

Balanced market as tin prices rise

Prices have surged amid a balanced global tin market.

According to the World Bureau of Metal Statistics (WBMS), the global tin market posted a minuscule deficit of 1,400 tons from January to May.

Furthermore, global reported production of refined metal rose by 35,000 tons year-over-year, WBMS reported. Apparent demand in China surged by 28% year over year during the five-month period.

Global tin demand from January to May 2021 reached 176,900 tons or up 14% year over year. Meanwhile, Japan’s tin demand totaled 11,600 tons, up 23% year over year.

In May 2021, refined production totaled 39,000 tons compared with consumption of 39,700 tons.

Chinese tin exports down

Meanwhile, China’s exports of tin declined in June, the International Tin Association reported, citing a declining arbitrage in SHFE and LME tin prices. Related: Refiners Face Huge Long-Term Challenges

“The arbitrage arises from differences in the valuation of tin between the two exchanges,” the ITA said. “Typically, the Chinese import price – the LME price, minus taxes, and shipping – is higher than the local price for tin, enabling local traders to sell their tin on the international market.”

The LME three-month price closed Monday at $34,177 per metric ton. Meanwhile, the most-traded SHFE tin contract reached around CNY 237,000 ($36,597) before dipping to around CNY 231,000 ($35,670) by midday Tuesday.

As for supply, the ITA noted power supply issues in China’s Yunnan province impacted tin output in June. Furthermore, tin-producing giant Yunnan Tin began maintenance last month.

This tightened supply of refined tin in the Chinese market, closing the arbitrage,” the ITA said.

By AG Metal Miner

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