Preliminary data provided by the trade ministry to news agencies yesterday indicated that Indonesian tin exports in June were more than double the 4,000 tpm “cap” announced by major producers and the governor of Bangka-Belitung in early May. Based on pre-shipment checks made by surveying companies, tin ingot exports were reported at 8,323.5 tonnes, while sales of solder amounted to 13.2 tonnes, giving a total of 8,336.7 tonnes. The monthly total was the highest this year and up by 18.8% compared to June 2014. Cumulative tonnage in the first half of this year was 38,357 tonnes, down by 5.1% relative to H1 2014.
ITRI View: The fall in the total tonnage compared to last year is due to the cutting out of dubious “solder” and tin product sales, which amounted to over 8,000 tonnes in the first half of last year but only some 30 tonnes this year, following the previous tightening of export regulations last November. The next step in cutting out tin trade loopholes in will be at the start of August, when the latest version of the export regulation comes into force. One notable feature of this is that there should be stricter supervision of mining licences. It is likely that the surge in sales recently – which appears to be continuing in July – reflects moves by producers to shift their inventories out of the country before the new rules come into effect. The recent intervention of President Joko Widodo in the tin industry, also promising more control of illegal mining, could have a further significant impact in due course.