By Carolina Curiel
BEIJING (Scrap Monster): The most recent data released by Chinese Customs authorities indicate that the imports of tin ores and concentrates by the country jumped significantly higher during the month of October this year. The imports totaled 36,515 tonnes, more than double when matched with the previous month imports. Also, the imports surged higher by nearly 35% when matched with the year before. Bulk of the imports was from Myanmar, which recorded ramp-up in local production. Also, the country’s refined tin imports during the month totaled 1,237 tonnes, rising by nearly 14% over the previous month. The Oct ’16 imports were up significantly by 55% over the previous year. China had imported nearly 800 tonnes of refined tin during October last year. Meantime, tin exports by the country totaled just 1 tonne during the month.
The cumulative tin imports by the country during the first ten months of the current year totaled 383,690 tonnes. Out of this, Myanmar accounted for imports of 382,324 tonnes during the ten-month period. The imports of tin ore and concentrate were up by 83% when compared with the corresponding period last year. The refined tin exports during Jan-Oct ’16 were down by nearly 5% to 7,789 tonnes. The country’s tin exports totaled 728 tonnes during the initial ten-month period of 2016.
According to ITRI, the local tin production in Man Maw mining area in Wa County, Myanmar had registered sharp decline on account of heavy rains in September. A recovery in October was very much on the cards, it added. Going forward, the body forecasts significant drop in production from the region, mainly on account of falling ore grades and depletion of resources. The region’s production is expected to fall below 50,000 tonnes in 2017. Incidentally, the region accounts for nearly 95% of the total production by Myanmar.
Meantime, preliminary figures released by the Indonesian Trade Ministry suggests considerable drop in tin exports by the country during the month of November this year, in comparison with the previous month. The cumulative exports dropped by 18% year-on-year during January to November this year, totaling 57,508 tonnes. ITRI noted that ICDX activity remained subdued in early November this year, but witnessed recovery in volumes towards the end of the month. Going by the current trend, the country’s refined tin production is expected to total around 66,400 tonnes during the entire year 2016, marginally higher by nearly 1,000 tonnes in comparison with the previous year.
The state-owned PT Timah had earlier announced its plan to construct a fuming plant at its Muntok smelter in an attempt to boost tin recoveries by controlling the quantity of tin discarded in slags. The company also intends to stream line its operations by laying aside unprofitable operations. PT Timah had reported profit of nearly $3.8 million during Q3 this year. The revenues had dropped by almost 9% when compared with 2015. The cost of revenues too had declined significantly by 12% over the previous year.