The global tin market

Tin is in critically short supply primarily due to demand from the electronics industry and the emerging Asian economies

Over 50% of tin consumption is used for solder in electronics and electrical goods

 

Source: mcgroup.co.uk

Non-toxic tin is used as a substitute for toxic metals (i.e. lead) in many applications

Demand for tin is led by the electronics industries in China and Japan: consumption of tin in China and Japan accounts for approximately 50% of global consumption. Demand growth outlook is very positive.

World tin production fell short of usage in 2011, with further deficits in 2013 and 2014 anticipated

The tin price has grown from US$15,000/ton to over $20,000/t since 2010 and reached as high as $33,000/t

Source: Fairfax

Tin had often been overlooked within the universe of base metals, however MGT identified strong market fundamentals for tin as its use in electronics continues to grow, while many existing producers experience diminishing production.

This includes the largest mine in South America, which produces 10% of global supply shutting in 2017, whilst tin output is expected to fall from the world’s two largest producers, Indonesia and China.

The market dynamics today are such that tin is in short supply due to demand from the electronics industry and the emerging Asian economies. Tin faces a supply shortage as old mines close, grades decline, and there is limited new supply coming on-stream. (Source: Macquarie Group, 2013 ‘Tin: it’s time to jump in’)

The resultant tin price has risen from US$15,000/ton to over $20,000/t since January 2010.  The latest estimates from the US Geological Survey (2013) report world tin reserves standing at 4.8 million tonnes, which represents a decline in reserve estimates since 1990.

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