Another slow month for Indonesian exports
Preliminary figures released by the trade ministry to news agencies today showed that March tin exports from Indonesia were only 2,719 tonnes, down by 61% compared to March 2015. The data is consistent with the volume of refined tin traded on the ICDX last month, which was 2,655 tonnes (531 lots of 5 tonnes). The latest ministry data is based on checks carried out by surveying companies prior to shipment and includes small quantities of solder and tin products as well as tin ingot. The 12-month rolling total of shipments has now dropped to 60,177 tonnes, the lowest on record since the ministry's export licencing and monitoring system began in 2007.
The very low March figure is not a surprise, given that exports have been constrained by a variety of factors including monsoon flooding, smelter audits and difficulties and delays in renewing export permits. However it looks like there will be a significant revival in sales in April, signalled by a sharp increase in trading volumes on the ICDX in the last few days. The first four trading days of this month have seen sales of 2,585 tonnes (517 lots), which is likely to mainly reflect some major producers obtaining new export permits.