SHANGHAI, Feb. 3 -- Data collected by ITRI in recent weeks shows diverse trends in refined tin production by leading producers in 2009. Yunnan Tin Company remained the world's largest producer for the fifth year in a row, although its production declined for a second successive year. Six of the world's top ten producers experienced a fall in production, due to either their responses to lower world demand and/or raw material supply issues.
The four companies reporting increased output were MSC, Yunnan Chengfeng, EM Vinto and PT Koba Tin. It is likely that the two larger companies were helped mainly by higher volumes of tin for re-refining from Indonesia, while Vinto and Koba had some improvement in concentrate supplies from the Huanuni mine and Koba's own operations respectively. Vinto also increased its effective capacity by re-conditioning previously idled furnace.
Eight of the world’s top 10 tin producers are ITRI members, including our new members Yunnan Chengfeng. Total refined tin production by all member companies (including our estimate for PT Timah) in 2009 was 229,000 tonnes. This total includes production by the newly established Polish secondary tin refiner Fenix Metals, as well as the ten companies shown in the table. Talison Minerals, another ITRI member, produced no tin in 2009 due to the closure of its tantalum mining operations from which tin is a by-product. The combined output of the twelve ITRI companies accounted for just over 70% of estimated world tin metal production last year.