SHANGHAI, Jan. 28 (SMM) – Data from China Customs show that China’s refined tin imports were 2,027 mt in December, down 33.2% MoM and 41.9% YoY. Total 2012 imports were 31,334 mt, up 32.2% YoY.
The expanding price gap between Shanghai and LME tin markets in December damped buyers’ interest in importing refined tin. China’s total tin imports in 2012 increased about one third over 2011, which was particularly evident during the first eight months. Imports from January through August in 2011 remained low due to the great price different between Shanghai and LME tin prices, and returned to normal levels in September as LME tin prices slumped in August.
Tin concentrate imports in December were up 14.3% MoM to 3,113 mt, but down 31.6% YoY. Total imports throughout 2012 were 32,407 mt, up 12.6% from 2011.
China mainly imported tin concentrate from Myanmar in 2012, but tin concentrate from the country was of low grade. Bolivia and Tanzania also supplied a large amount of tin concentrate to China. The proportion of tin concentrate imports from Myanmar last year dropped while that of Bolivia increased compared with 2011’s levels.