Tin shipments from Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter, advanced to the highest level in 18 months in June after smelters boosted sales before a tighter purity standard took effect from this month.
Exports of ingots and solder jumped 20 percent to 11,111.4 metric tons from May, data from the Trade Ministry showed today. That’s the most since December 2011, when sales reached 15,102.8 tons, and was higher than the 9,646.7 tons in June 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. First-half exports rose 16 percent to 55,011 tons compared with the year-earlier period.
Rising supplies from Indonesia may extend the 17 percent drop in the price of the metal used in soldering and packaging in London this year. The country imposed the higher purity rule from this month, raising the minimum limit on tin content to 99.9 percent from 99.85 percent.
“Exporters released stockpiles before the implementation of the new purity rule,” Muhammad Buntar Gunawan, president director at Bangka Belitung-based smelter PT Stanindo Inti Perkasa, said in telephone interview today. Shipments may be halved this month because of the rule, he said.
Tin for delivery in three months fell 0.3 percent to $19,400 a ton on the London Metal Exchange at 1:49 p.m. in Jakarta. The price dropped to $18,809 on July 5, the lowest since August last year.
While raising the limit for tin content, Indonesia relaxed a proposed rule on lead, permitting 300 parts per million (0.03 percent) instead of 100 parts per million, according to a June 28 regulation from ministry. The government also removed proposed limits for other metals including cadmium.
The metal was shipped to 12 countries last month, with Singapore taking 6,540.6 tons, 59 percent of the total, according to the data, which is based on reports from surveyors before shipment. Other buyers included Malaysia, China and Japan.
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