Latest customs data released yesterday shows imports of tin ore and concentrates at 40,575 tonnes gross weight in May, or an estimated 4,800 t contained tin. The May total was down 13% on the previous month’s figure, but up by 87% compared to May 2015. In the first five months of this year, imports from totalled 215,184 t with an estimated tin content of 26,000 tonnes.

China exported 135 t refined tin in May and 211 t in the first five months of the year, according to China custom’s data. However, incomplete third country import statistics suggest actual shipments between January and May might be closer to 3,000 t.

ITRI View: Another month of high exports from the Man Maw area of Wa County was anticipated in May, but a decline in exports should begin in June with the onset of the rainy season, which usually runs until October. According to a recent document by the General Office of the State Council regarding the nonferrous metals industry, a policy is under consideration that will allow some compliant enterprises to carry out processing of tin concentrate. This would mean that for any concentrates or ore imported into China, an equivalent amount of refined metal could be exported exempt from VAT and duty. The proposed policy would encourage greater exports of refined tin, but there is currently no clear timeline on when it might be implemented.