While most tin smelters in Yunnan, Guangxi and Jiangxi provinces have re-opened recently, four plants which account for 18% of national production will remain idle for up to 40 days.
Two new plant closures are reported in provinces other than those affected by the government environmental inspections which began on 19 July. Maanshan Weitai Tin Co. Ltd. in Anhui Province is planning a maintenance shutdown beginning on 28 August. The closure will be for 20 days. Another smelter in Inner Mongolia Province also began maintenance recently and will take 40 days to reopen. The two small smelters produce 8,000 tonnes refined tin annually. The Maanshan Weitai closure is because it is within a 300 km radius of Hangzhou, which is hosting the G20 summit of world leaders on 4-5 September. As part of a co-ordinated air quality campaign all factories in the area will be closed or closely controlled.
The other smelters in China have been gradually building up their production in the past few days. Only two smelters in Yunnan Province are still closed, but they will reopen in the late August and mid-September. The two smelters in Yunnan produce 16,000 tonnes of refined tin annually. The four idled smelters represent 18% of China’s annual refined tin production.
Chinese smelters’ raw material requirements continue to be met by a steady flow of tin ore and concentrate from Myanmar. According to the official trade statistics for July released today, imports last month amounted to 36,219 tonnes gross weight (approximately 4,300 tonnes contained tin) bringing year-to-date imports up to 290,338 tonnes (just under 35,000 t contained tin). August-October imports are expected to be seasonally lower and Myanmar 2016 annual production is estimated by ITRI at 50,000 tonnes.