Tin shipments from Indonesia, the largest supplier, climbed the most in eight months in May when prices of the metal used in soldering and packaging posted a monthly gain for the first time since January.
Exports of ingot and solder advanced 18 percent to 9,242 metric tons from 7,853 tons in April, Trade Ministry data showed today. That’s the biggest gain since September when sales surged 75 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales were 7,866 tons in May of last year.
Higher shipments may ease concern that supplies from Indonesia will fall as the country imposes tighter purity rules starting next month. Exports may drop 19 percent to 80,000 tons this year because of the purity limits, according to the median of 12 estimates in a Bloomberg survey in April. The new rules increase the tin content of cargoes and reduce lead and cadmium levels. Futures in London gained 2.6 percent in May.
“Smelters cashed in their production after the gain in prices,” Hidayat Arsani, president of the Indonesian Tin Mining Association, said by phone from Jakarta today. “We need more money for Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr festival,” he said, referring to the allowance Indonesian companies are obliged to pay to workers for the Eid festival that marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, starting in July this year.
Tin for delivery in three months lost 1.8 percent to $20,555 a ton on the London Metal Exchange by 4:06 p.m. in Singapore, down 12 percent this year.
The country sold the metal to 10 countries last month, with Singapore buying about 66 percent of the shipments, ministry data showed. Other destinations included Malaysia, China and Thailand. Exports in the first five months of the year rose 16.5 percent to 43,900 tons, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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