Tin: PT Timah excels in first half

The Indonesian state-owned tin producer, PT Timah, has announced a 57% year-on-year increase in refined tin production to 14,905 t in the first half of 2017, with Q2 refined tin output at its highest level since Q4 2014 at 7,942 t.

The increase in refined tin output is correlated with a 77% year-on-year increase in tin-in-concentrate production to 16,078 t over the same period. This largely reflects a nearly five-fold increase in onshore tin mining output to 8,323 t, although offshore tin production also increased 7% to 7,755 t in the first half of the year.

The company’s downstream facilities have also performed well, with first-half sales of tin chemicals up 150% to 2,124 t year-on-year and tin solder up 28% to 386 t. Additionally, between the end of 2016 and the end of June, the company’s refined tin stocks have risen 13% to 3,892 t, while tin contained in ore and slags has risen 9% to 11,649 t.

ITRI View: “Indonesian exports of refined tin based on trade ministry data totalled 35,390 t in H1, up 19% year-on-year. While the higher tin price in 2017 has no doubt been a key driver behind Timah’s improved performance, disruption from flooding and export delays in H1 2016 have also been an important factor behind the 2017 revival. The company has also been more competitive in its purchase of ore, which has weighed on Indonesian private smelter production. Timah believes that refined tin output of 32,000-35,000 t will be easily achieved this year, up from its 2016 total of 23,756 t. We estimate total Indonesian refined tin production will rise to 75,000 t in 2017 due to the increased output by Timah, with production from other Indonesian sources expected to remain broadly stable.”