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Global tin use exceeded expectations in 2018 - ITA

Metal News - Published on Mon, 18 Mar 2019

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According to a recent International Tin Association report, global tin consumption bested expectations last year, despite trade headwinds created by tensions between the US and China. The ITA said in the report that “Tin consumption in 2018 was stronger than previously anticipated, according to year-end data. Despite a positive start to the year, expectations were revised downwards following the US-China trade tensions and poor macroeconomic data. However, based on the most recent data, growth in tin use remained relatively robust, growing by 2.5% over the course of the year.”

By volume, tin usage increased by 9,000 tons in 2018 compared with 2017. An ITA survey of tin users accounting for approximately 40% of tin use had indicated expectations of 3% tin use growth. That was later moderated down to 1% before ultimately finishing up 2.5%.

As in most cases, China’s consumption of the metal accounts for a significant piece of the pie 45%, according to the ITA.

Last year, however, China’s tin consumption dipped slightly, according to the report.

The ITA said that “While the Chinese solder market is impacted by electronics miniaturisation, there is growing demand in other areas, such as automotive, industrial and medical uses. Although Chinese consumption did decline slightly in 2018, this was offset by significant growth in overall tin consumption in the rest of the world (5%).”

According to the report, preliminary forecasts suggest a contraction in tin use is on the way, but not a large one that is, less than 1%.

The ITA release stated that “The overall slowdown of the Chinese economy is likely to be impacted by the on-going US-China trade tensions, although the two countries may be nearing a resolution. However, it is too early to comment on how a new trade deal would affect tin consumption.”

Despite a surge in January, the LME tin price trended downward throughout most of 2018, kicking off at USD 20,140 per tonne and closing the year at USD 19,475 per tonne.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Mon, 18 Mar 2019
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