Tin Exporters in Indonesia Plan Meeting to Counter Falling Metal Prices
Tin exporters in Indonesia, the world’s biggest supplier, will meet to discuss a temporary suspension of sales to stem declining prices.
Timah, the country’s top shipper, said the halt may not achieve the goal.
Exporters will meet Bangka Belitung Governor Rustam Effendi to seek the stoppage, said Jabin Sufianto, chairman of the Association of Indonesian Tin Exporters.
A date has not been set for the meeting, he said. Effendi, who governs the country’s biggest tin mining region, said on Feb. 5 that he plans to hold the meeting as early as this week and will propose an export halt for at least two months.
Tin slumped about 18 percent in the past year on reduced demand from China, the biggest consumer of the metal used as solder and in packaging, even as sales from Indonesia dropped in 2014 to the lowest level in at least eight years.
The government toughened rules on exports in 2013, followed by a new quality standard in November last year.
“We have discussed this with association members and we will soon meet the governor to finalize it,” Jabin said in a phone interview from Jakarta on Tuesday, referring to the shipment halt. It must get support from all exporters to be successful, including from Timah, he said.
“Moratorium is probably not the right step to be taken at the moment,” Timah corporate secretary Agung Nugroho said in a text message to Bloomberg.
The action may not succeed in supporting prices because of weak global demand and poor economic conditions, he said.
Two-Year Low Tin for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell 1.4 percent to settle at $18,250 a metric ton on Monday, the lowest price since August 2012. Exports from Indonesia may drop 20 percent to 61,000 tons this year from last year, according to a Bloomberg survey.
The current price is near the cost of production, Jabin said, without specifying a level.
This will be Indonesian smelters’ second attempt to try to prop up tin prices.
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