Timah’s Tin Sales May Drop 18% This Year as Prices Extend Losses

Tin sales by PT Timah, the world’s third-biggest producer, may drop 18 percent this year as prices extend a decline because of slowing global demand, said President Director Sukrisno.

Sales will probably fall to 28,000 metric tons from 34,000 tons last year and below the target of 29,000 tons, Sukrisno said in Jakarta.

Tin dropped 17 percent in London this year on concern that demand may falter in China, the biggest user, and as Indonesian smelters boosted exports before new quality standards took effect on July 1. Shipments from all producers in the Southeast Asian nation may reach 100,000 tons this year, 33 percent more than estimated earlier after the government eased the quality rule, according to Agung Nugroho, corporate secretary at Timah.

“The margins are getting smaller, although we have been working up a sweat,” Sukrisno said in an interview late yesterday. “The price is about $19,000 now, if necessary, we don’t have to export. The important thing is prices.”

Tin for delivery in three months traded 0.3 percent higher at $19,554 a ton on the London Metal Exchange at 2:06 p.m. Singapore time. The metal, which lost 5.9 percent in June, is 0.6 percent down this month.

Indonesia raised the minimum tin grade to 99.9 percent from 99.85 percent and cut the lead and cadmium levels starting July 1. Exports rose 16 percent to 55,011 tons in the first half from a year earlier, data from the Trade Ministry showed July 9.

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