Tin in the News (24 January 2013)
Source:  ITRI Ltd

The following is a summary of the information circulated by ITRI Ltd.  For more details and the original text please visit http://www.itri.co.uk.

Reuters poll picks out tin (24 Jan 2013)

The latest six-monthly survey of metals analysts published this week by Reuters identifies tin as the LME metal most likely to have a higher annual average price in 2013 and 2014 compared to last year.

The mean of 21 analysts’ forecast of the average 2013 LME tin price was US$23,422/tonne, while the median forecast was US$23,800/tonne.  For 2014 the mean and median values from 16 forecasts were US$24,421/tonne and US$24,956/tonne, respectively.

China refined tin trade patterns changing (23 Jan 2013)

China imported 1,908t of refined tin in December 2012, down by 33% month-on-month and 44% year-on-year.  The price differentials between China and LME in December and January have been very narrow and not profitable for general imports.  As such refined imports are expected to remain weak in the next few months.

Domestic Chinese tin prices have lagged further behind the latest rally in LME prices since December and this is starting to encourage export.  The latest official figures show that China exported 373t of refined tin in December, the highest monthly export volume in 2012.

China’s concentrate imports (gross weight) rose to 3,100t in December, up from 2,700t in November, pushing the annual total for 2012 to some 32,400t.

Kazakhstan tinplate production continues to decline (15 Jan 2013)

According to official data released by the Kazakh Statistics Agency, national tinplate production fell by 28.7% to 147,385 tonnes in 2012, the third consecutive year of decline.  AcelorMittal Temirtau is Kazakhstan’s sole steel and tinplate producer and has three tinning lines with a combined capacity of 375,000 tpy.  Sales have been affected by international sanctions on Iran, one of its major markets.

Challenging the Conflict Minerals Rule (18 Jan 2013)

On 16th January 2013, a group of associations, the Business Roundtable, US Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Manufacturer filed their opening remarks in the process to request a review of the SEC’s conflict minerals rule.  The 198-page document described the key issues and argued that:

•    the cost estimated by SEC was underestimated
•    a financial burden of that size should not be impose without determining whether the rules will yield any benefits
•    SEC had itself admitted it didn’t know if the rules would benefit the people of DRC and its surrounding region
•    the rules violated companies’ US First Amendment rights by compelling them to publicly state their products are “not DRC conflict free” even if such a disclosure is false and is simply reflecting the difficulty and inability of companies to fully trace their supply chains to determine the minerals’ origins.
•    the SEC was wrong to conclude that it could create a de minimis exception to the rule and that the “reasonable country of origin inquiry” is unreasonably stringent.

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