Mar. 1 -- South Korea’s Public Procurement Service (PPS) said in a statement on 23 February that it would raise its inventory targets for copper and tin in 2011 to a respective 80 and 75 days of import demand, signalling the launch of a broader restocking effort through 2015, Reuters reported. The agency had previously set an identical target of 60 days of import demand for inventories of all six LME metals and 11 rare metals by mid-2012, although it announced last December that it would give priority to copper, tin and lithium in 2011. Targets for metals seen to be in ample supply, such as aluminium and lead, have been cut to 40 days.
"The government has found uniform targets a hurdle to maximising efficiency in stockpiling that could fail to cope with possible supply crises and support small and medium sized firms," the PPS said. The agency also said it would increase stock targets of rare metals including cobalt, bismuth, indium, tantalum and lithium, adding it would build all the metal inventories gradually to meet the new targets by 2015. In recent years the PPS has maintained a tin stock of around 2,000 tonnes as a service to small and medium-sized manufacturers using the metal and bought a similar volume each year through tenders. The country imports some 16,500 tpy of tin, so the new target implies a stockpile of about 3,400 tonnes.