Via AG Metal Miner
The Indonesian government has plans to shake up the tin market over the next few months. One analyst told MetalMiner that the Southeast Asian country aims to expand downstreaming opportunities for refined tin rather than continue exporting the majority of its supply. According to the analyst, the government wants to attract end-users, such as solder producers and electric vehicle manufacturers, with incentives that include tax breaks and holidays.
“They want to become a hub of EV manufacturing,” the source said. “They want to get closer to that.” The analyst added that about 95% of the country’s refined tin ends up leaving the state to support the global tin market. This makes downstreaming a very viable option as the government looks to alter its import/export balance.
The analyst made the comments on the sidelines of the London Metal Exchange’s Metals Seminar, which took place on Oct. 24. That event was part of LME Week 2022, which started on the same date. “Downstreaming of refined tin would also create jobs within Indonesia,” the analyst noted. “It’s economics.”
The Tin Market May Need to Brace Itself
The source estimated that refined tin production in Indonesia currently sits at about 75% of capacity, though he declined to put an exact figure on actual capacity. He did note that there are about 30 smelters of various sizes on the island province of Bangka-Belitung. This is where the majority of tin mining and smelting takes place in the island archipelago state.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo and the country’s investment and mining ministries are all heavily involved in the project. Widodo originally floated the idea of banning tin exports in late 2021, although he did not specify whether that would apply to tin concentrate or finished products. “But I think that the goal is more realistic now,” the analyst said of the situation.
Either way, the tin market is sure to experience some big changes come 2023.
By AG Metal Miner
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