Based on preliminary November data released by Indonesia’s trade ministry at the end of last week, the country’s refined tin exports this year are likely to fall below 70,000 tonnes for the first time since 2003.
Reuters reported on Saturday that November tin shipments amounted to 2,636.78 tonnes, down by 73% compared to the previous month’s total of 9,633.10 tonnes. The figures are based on pre-shipment checks made by surveying companies and may include small quantities of solder and other tin products as well as tin ingots. According to ITRI’s records, the year-to-date total in January-November is 64,349 tonnes, down by 1.9% compared to the same period of last year. However while exports last year were boosted by a strong finish in December, when shipments exceeded 10,300 tonnes, December 2015 exports are unlikely to reach half of last year’s total.
A combination of tighter export regulations and falling prices has resulted in a drop of over 30% in Indonesian supply in the last three years. Final official customs figures showed annual refined tin exports of 70,237 tonnes in 2014, down from 88,443 tonnes in 2013 and 101,237 tonnes in 2012. Under the latest regulation, which has been progressively enforced since August, sales are likely to be further constrained into 2016.