FOCUS: Tin’s cash/three-month swing to contango leaves physical market at ease

In a volatile month for base metals, exemplified by sharp price drops and spread moves, the London Metal Exchange’s nearby tin spread moved into a contango for the first time since April 2017.

Yet despite the move having the potential to jolt the physical market, market participants have expressed little concern over the swing and tin premiums have held firm. In the week beginning August 6, tin’s benchmark cash/three-month spread swung from a sizeable backwardation of $118 per tonne to a contango of $11 per tonne. While the spread returned to a backwardation of $60 per tonne on August 22, the nearby cash/September spread remains in a contango of $15 per tonne. Currently, tin's cash/three-month spread is in a backwardation of $45 per tonne.  The prospect of a full-scale contango market however, could alter the tin landscape, increasing comparatively nominal trading volumes and better financing storage costs. That said, the metal’s short stint in contango territory has done little to alter market sentiment toward tin, with low stocks,...

Published

Hassan Butt

August 28, 2018

16:50 GMT

London