Official figures released on Monday by the Indonesian trade ministry reveal a 22% month-on-month fall in tin shipments to 5,378 t in May.
The figure is just short of the quantity of tin traded on the Indonesian Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (ICDX), which fell by 25% month-on-month to 5,390 t in May. The official tin shipment figure also represents a 14% year-on-year fall compared to May 2015.
Government tin smelter audits aimed at cracking down on illegal mining as well as the impact of flooding resulted in very low tin shipment volumes in Q1. The granting of export licences therefore led to the sale of pent-up stock in April, including tin held by the now closed private tin smelter, Refined Bangka Tin. The lower shipment figure seen in May represents a likely normalisation of tin shipment volumes following the April surge.
ITRI View: Recent forecasts of Indonesian tin exports by state miner PT Timah and the Association of Indonesian Tin Exporters (AETI) range from 60,000 – 66,000 t. To reach the upper end of this range would require average monthly shipments exceeding 6,000 t for the remainder of the year. Even then this upper estimate would still represent 5% annual reduction from 2015 tin exports of 70,000 t.