Co Ltd announced on Friday that it would make a major loss in the first half of 2013 as a result of falling tin prices. In an announcement to the Shenzhen stock exchange the company forecast a net loss of CNY 910 – 980 million (US$ 148 – 160 million) in January-June, compared to a net profit of CNY 77.1 million in the first half of last year. The company attributed the losses to falling sales prices and large write-downs on the value of inventories.

The listed arm of the Yunnan Tin Group, the world’s largest tin producer, made a slim net profit of CNY 34.5 million on sales of CNY 16.3 billion in 2012, but net income moved into the red in the final quarter. In the first quarter of 2013 YTC lost CNY 194.1 million. The profit warning follows an announcement a week earlier that its chairman Lei Yi was under investigation for alleged “serious disciplinary violations”.