Indonesian state tin company PT Timah continued to build up stocks in the second quarter, noting in a release accompanying its 2014 first half year results that “managing…tin supplies available for sale at ICDX is our business strategy to maintain price stability”. Timah’s average selling price in H1 was US$23,193/tonne, up by 2.8% on the same period of last year, although sales revenue fell as this was more than offset by a 11.8% year-on-year fall in tin sales volume to 9,663 tonnes. Nevertheless net profit increased by 48% to Rp 202.8 billion (US$17.5 million), which the company attributed to efficiency gains.
Both refined metal and tin-in-concentrate production rose: refined metal production grew by 12.4% to 10,808 tonnes, while mine production rose by over 40% to 14,352 tonnes in the first half. The growth in mine production was mainly due to a more than trebling of onshore production to 4,823 tonnes, increasing the onshore proportion of total mine supply to 34%, compared to an average in 2013 of only 25%. Onshore production in the early part of last year was severely depressed as the company re-organised its relationships with small-scale miners operating on its mining leases into a managed piecework system compatible with Indonesia’s new mining law.
The contrasting trends in production and sales resulted in a rise in refined tin stocks to 4,473 tonnes at the end of June, while the combined inventory of tin contained in ore and slags rose to 11,418 tonnes. Total tin inventory has more than doubled over the last 12 months and is now at the highest level in over five years.