The world’s largest refined tin producer, Yunnan Tin Co. (YTC), has announced that its Ausmelt smelter will enter scheduled maintenance starting from 21 October.
In 2018, YTC produced some 78,000 tonnes of refined tin, making it the world’s largest refined tin producer by nearly 45,000 tonnes. Although this year, Indonesian government-owned refined tin producer PT TIMAH has drastically increased production, YTC is still forecast to remain the world’s most significant supplier of refined tin.
In September, YTC announced that it would cut refined tin production this year by around 10% from its original production plan due to weak market demand and low prices. Now, YTC is planning to suspend refined tin production in order to complete scheduled maintenance on its smelter. Scheduled to begin on 21 October, the maintenance period will last for “no more than 50 days”, according to the company’s announcement.
Our view: Although maintenance to the smelter will lower production, it is unclear if this was already factored in to YTC’s production plans as maintenance last year was scheduled for the same period. While the announcement does refer to a 10% reduction in refined tin production compared to the original 2019 forecast, this was also quoted in the plan for production cuts.