Tin Exports From Indonesia Jump to Three-Month High in January

Refined tin shipments from Indonesia, the largest exporter, climbed to a three-month high in January as prices rallied for a third month.

Exports increased by 5.4 percent to 9,154.7 metric tons from 8,689.2 tons in December, according to data from the Trade Ministry today. Sales were 5,380.4 tons in January 2012.

Tin, the best performer among six main industrial metals last year, climbed 46 percent since July when the metal used in soldering and packaging slumped to the lowest level since 2010. Rising supplies from Indonesia may halt the rally and potentially curb revenues at Malaysia Smelting Corp. and PT Timah, the world’s second and third-largest producers.

“Smelters are releasing inventories because of high prices,” Hidayat Arsani, president of the Indonesian Tin Mining Association, said by phone from Bangka. Shipments will gradually drop as smelters upgrade their smelting facilities to meet new purity standards, he said.

Exports may plunge 24 percent to 75,000 tons this year because most Indonesian smelters won’t meet the higher purity standards effective from July, according to the median of 13 exporter and analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg last month. The minimum purity for exports will be raised to 99.9 percent from 99.85 percent, the trade ministry said in December.

Shipments last month were the highest since October when exports were 11,048 tons, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Indonesia shipped tin to 12 countries, with Singapore taking 72 percent or 6,583.5 tons, the data show.

Tin for three-month delivery advanced as much as 0.7 percent to $25,029 a ton on the London Metal Exchange and traded at $24,832 at 3:07 p.m. Jakarta time. The metal has increased 6.1 percent this year.

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