Physical tin participants hint at global concentrates shortage amid China-Myanmar import slump

The global refined tin market may be experiencing a shortage in the delivery of tin concentrates that could cause fundamental market tightness and a higher three-month tin price on the London Metal Exchange, numerous supply-side sources informed Fastmarkets.

This follows reports that China, the world’s largest tin producer, is struggling to source consistent imports from its principal supplier, Myanmar. Meanwhile, sources have indicated to Fastmarkets that a global shortage in tin concentrates could be prevalent across the global supply chain. According to official Chinese customs data, China imported 11,724 tonnes of tin ore and concentrates in April 2019, down by more than 30% year-on-year from 17,452 tonnes in 2018. The International Tin Association (ITA) reported on June 6 that in April, Myanmar sent China 96% of its imported tin ore and concentrate and those deliveries were down 20% year-on-year. Meanwhile, the decline in imports from Myanmar has brought attention to murky mining conditions in the country, typified by inconsistent supply flows and questions around Myanmar’s tainted tin supply chain due to tractability, human rights violations and more stringent environmental regulations. China and Myanmar’s tin trade goes back over...


Hassan Butt

Orla O'Sullivan

June 11, 2019

15:50 GMT