China imports of tin ores and concentrates from Myanmar totalled 20,818 tonnes (gross weight) in September, according to the latest official customs statistics, with an estimated tin content of 5,000 tonnes, up 9% from August, almost three times higher than September 2016.
The estimated tin metal content of Chinese ore and concentrate imports from January to September totalled 45,500 tonnes, up 15% compared to the same period last year. The gross weight of China’s tin ore imports from other countries in September totalled 490 tonnes, including 231 tonnes from Russia. The trade data also reveals that refined tin and tin alloy imports in September totalled 160 tonnes, while exports totalled 421 tonnes.
ITRI View: The sharp year-on-year increase of China’s concentrate imports from Myanmar in September is because, this year, processing and road infrastructure improvements have nullified the usual negative impact of the wet season on production and shipments from the Man Maw mining district of Myanmar. We expect monthly shipments to China from Myanmar to be sustained at above 5,000 tonnes of tin content for the remainder of the year. This forecast is based on shipments during the same period of 2016 and the expectation of further depletion of remaining ore stocks at the site.