Provisional data released by Indonesia’s trade ministry today shows a big drop in refined tin and solder shipments in January. The total volume of tin ingot and solder checked by surveying companies prior to export was 4,613 tonnes (3,152 tonnes of ingot and 1,460 tonnes of solder), down by almost 50% compared to January 2013 and by almost two-thirds compared to the very high December total of 13,562 tonnes. The cumulative 12-month rolling total of shipments to end-January was 87,071 tonnes according to ITRI’s records.
ITRI View: The drop was predictable, as tin turnover on the Indonesia Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (ICDX), through which all ingot for export must be traded, fell 54% from December to 3,795 tonnes last month. The decline in trading activity in turn reflects the fact that sellers through the exchange were reluctant to lower offer prices in line with the decline in the LME price last month. There is also an underlying decline in Indonesian production in Q1 as a result of the impact of the monsoon season on operations. February could also be a slow month.