JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Amid a sustained market deficit from 2018 onwards and dwindling inventories, BMI Research expects tin prices to gradually increase to $22 500/t by 2021.
Tin currently trades at about $20 125/t and is expected to remain at about $19 500/t this year and $20 500/t in 2018, before starting a gradual rise.
The tin market is likely to remain in a surplus this year and output at various mines is expected to increase this year, most notably at Indonesia's PT Timah, Peru's Minsur and Bolivia's Empresa Metalúrgica Vinto tin projects.
Additionally, increasing tin ore imports to China suggest an impending pick-up in production from local smelters, said BMI.
However, slowing growth in global production and growth in global demand for the metal driven by consumer electronics, will start to narrow the surplus, leading to a deficit from 2018.
“Deeper deficits will depress already sparse global inventories. We expect the market to move from a surplus of 400 t this year to a deficit of 3 500 t in 2018, deepening thereafter to a deficit of 12 600 t by 2021,” BMI stated.
It added that it was also bullish towards metals prices in general for the next six to nine months as the continued and heightened fiscal support provided by the Chinese government to the economy would be a net positive for public infrastructure spending and industrial metals demand over the coming months.