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December 2017 | Base Metals


Tin: Flat-lining


Tin prices remain subdued, and are still stuck around $19,500 per tonne. If tin couldn’t be dragged higher by the other metals when they were stronger, will it also be able to resist being pulled lower? We do not believe tin’s own fundamentals warrant a significant retreat from the current trading level, as we think the outlook for 2018 is quite robust.

Stock watch
Given the build in SHFE stocks earlier this year and the starkly contrasting tightness in the LME warehouse network, it has been interesting to see the two markets moving toward equilibrium more recently, by way of China reverting to being a net exporter (see last week’s report).

LME tin stocks have been edging higher; they were last reported at 2,375 tonnes, from 2,070 tonnes at the end of September, though they remain tightly held and the market backwardated. SHFE stocks, in comparison, have been falling; they totalled 7,505 tonnes on Friday, down from a peak of 10,964 tonnes in early September.

With exports averaging around 400 tpm in August-October, from zero a year...

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