How the tin producers are faring

first_imgEarlier this week Resource Capital Research (RCR) released its equity research report on global tin companies. The tin price peaked at $25,495/t in May 2008 but then slumped by more than 50% in five months due to the global financial crisis. Prices are volatile but have found support at $11,000/t. RCR anticipates that tin will trade in the $9,000/t-$15,000/t range in 2009, with an average price of US$12,750/t. The share prices of a selection of 20 tin companies covered in the report have increased an average 56% over 12-month lows but are 74% below 12-month highs. Global demand for refined tin was ~350,000 t in 2008, a 3.6% decrease from 2007. China consumed 36% of supply in 2007. In 2008, mine production was ~333,000 t, up from 320,000 t in 2007. Of this, 72% was mined in China and Indonesia.Falls in production due to the financial crisis suggest a 2009 production forecast of 305,000 t Sn, a 6.5% drop from 2008. LME tin stocks recently hit four-year lows and remain relatively depleted. Production cutbacks and low stocks could exacerbate pre-crisis supply problems when demand for tin returns, leading to higher prices.RCR’s report covers 10 global tin exploration and development companies with a focus on Australia and Canada.“We believe that the mid-term outlook for the tin sector is strong,” says RCR tin analyst Trent Allen. “For much of 2008, supply problems were predicted for the tin market due to surging demand from China and decreasing alluvial production out of Indonesia. These problems could quickly re-emerge if the current round of global economic stimulus restores reasonable demand for base metals – in fact, they could be exacerbated by lags in re-establishing tin output from existing mines and restarting future projects that have been shelved due to the credit crisis. We think tin will be one of the first metals to recover once markets stabilise.”last_img read more