Preliminary data from the Indonesian trade ministry has revealed that the country exported 2,486 tonnes of tin in January, down 63% from the 6,770 tonnes exported in January last year, while recent flooding on the island of Bangka is expected to affect tin operations in February.
There are three inter-related regulatory factors currently affecting sales, two of which are new. The first factor is that producers need permission to export (PE) letters, which give them a maximum permissible tonnage they can ship over six months. Some producers used up their initial six months quotas early, so had to stop selling in January prior to renewal of the PE from 1 February onwards.
Additionally, the two new factors are that the provincial government of Bangka Belitung has halted offshore mining activities since 27 January, while new audits of smelters in the province are due to be carried out this week and next by inspectors from the energy and mineral resources ministry.
Bloomberg also reported earlier today that flooding on Bangka, as high as 1.3 metres in places, has restricted access to smelters and mining areas and caused electricity cuts on the island. PT Timah has announced that its Nudur mining area on Bangka has shut due to flooding, although its other mining leases and smelting operations remain unaffected.