Yunnan Tin Company (YTC) has announced that refined tin production will cease from 11 November 2018 while it carries out maintenance on its smelter in Gejiu, Yunnan for a period of up to 50 days.
The smelter maintenance period is equivalent to 9,000 tonnes of refined tin production. Based on a recent production survey carried out by the International Tin Association, China’s refined tin production in October was estimated at 13,200 tonnes, down by 11.4% from 14,900 tonnes in September. In October, China Tin Group and Dajingzi Tin carried out maintenance and other smelters reduced their production due to a lack of raw material. A further decline in refined production is anticipated in November as YTC ceases operations.
Our view: Smelters in China are reluctant to sell refined tin forward due to a developing shortage of concentrate, particularly from Myanmar. Tolling charge for tin concentrates of 40% Sn decreasing to around 14,500-15,000 yuan/tonne (~US$2,100) from 17,000 yuan/tonnes (~$2,500) several months ago. Traders report it is more difficult to source refined tin and the daily China spot price has been stronger in early November as a result. We anticipate this supply constraint in the Chinese market will intensify over the next few months.