Tin Declines to 30-Month Low as Demand Concerns Mount on Europe

Tin fell to the lowest in more than two years, leading declines in industrial metals, as turmoil in Greek markets fueled concerns that a faltering European economy would erode global demand.

Germany and Greece headed into an emergency meeting with official creditors with conflicting positions, setting the stage for a clash. A slowdown in Europe may dim prospects for the economy in China, the world’s biggest metals user, said Bart Melek, the head of commodity strategy at TD Securities. Chinese exports to the European Union slid last month, government figures showed.

“It’s not all certain if the Greeks get the terms they want, and that’s going to create problems,” Melek said in a telephone interview from Toronto. “If it goes badly, that doesn’t bode well for Chinese exports to Europe, which weighs on base-metals expectations.”

Tin for delivery in three months fell 3 percent to settle at $17,650 a metric ton at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange, after touching $17,445, the lowest since Aug. 2, 2012.

The yield on three-year Greek notes jumped 125 basis points to 20.76 percent, while the ASE Index lost 4 percent, the most among 18 western-European markets.

Aluminum for delivery in three months dropped 0.8 percent to $1,822 a ton. In two days, the price tumbled 2.9%, the most since Oct. 2. Nickel and lead fell on the LME, while zinc was higher.

Copper gained 0.1 percent to $5,600 a ton ($2.54 a pound) on the LME.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a note to investors Wednesday that more cost deflation and weaker Chinese demand supported an “outright short” in copper, citing risks to China demand growth in property and manufacturing.

In New York, copper futures for March delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $2.541 a pound at the Comex.

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