The decline in gross weight of tin imports since last year is partially a result of higher tin content due to investment in processing infrastructure at the Man Maw mining district in Wa, Myanmar. Tin content of the concentrate exported is understood to have averaged some 23%Sn in April, compared to a 2016 average of 13%Sn. However, the estimated tin content of exports in January to April of 17,800 tonnes was still down 21% from 22,600 tonnes during the same period of 2016.
ITRI View: Export volumes from Myanmar continue to face pressure from declining ore grades and resources at Man Maw. However, there was a 17% decline in the treatment charge offered by smelters to 20,000 yuan in April compared to Q1, which is likely to have encouraged some concentrate destocking in Wa and helped support exports during the month. The introduction of processing trade in China may also provide some support to trade volumes in the months to come, but this will most likely be offset by the impact of wet season from June, with Chinese smelters, traders and local miners all expressing concerns over the availability of concentrate from Myanmar for the months ahead.