Refined-tin output from Indonesia’s Bangka Belitung province, the main producing region in the world’s biggest shipper, may be little changed this year at about 80,000 metric tons, according to the local government.
Mining was reduced last year after prices fell, and has yet to return to normal, limiting ore supplies to smelters, Aldan Djalil, head of the mining and energy office in Bangka Belitung, said in an interview late yesterday.
Constrained supplies from Indonesia, which accounts for about 40 percent of global sales, may help to extend this year’s 17 percent rally in prices. The metal, used for soldering and packaging, plunged 29 percent last year.
“We have seen a little increase in mining, but in general it’s still far below earlier years,” Djalil said in Jakarta. “Limited reserves and low prices have made traditional miners switch jobs to other sectors.”
Three-month tin declined 0.7 percent to $22,425 a ton on the London Metal Exchange yesterday. This quarter’s rally is the first three-month gain since the period to March 31 last year.
Producers in Bangka Belitung, which represents about 90 percent of total output and shipments from Indonesia, agreed to a ban on exports in the final quarter of last year in a bid to reverse the slide in prices. The ban ended Dec. 31.