NEW YORK Delivered tin premiums have held steady, although there were pervasive rumors of lower premiums as some suppliers chased limited business, domestic market sources told AMM.
Delivered premiums were unchanged at $650 to $750 per tonne despite three-month tin prices on the London Metal Exchange rising 10.3 percent over the course of last week.
Although the bulk of the transactions were reported in the existing range, both buyers and traders said that lower offers existed in the market, with some as low as about $550 per tonne for some brands of LME-grade material amid subdued summer business.
"I expect (demand) to pick up in the fall," one alloy producer told AMM. "I think people are scared about last week, and the tin price being so strong."
Concern over the supply of tin may have prompted the surging LME price, sources said, with three-month tin settling at $20,680 per tonne in official trading Tuesday. The Indonesian Tin Mining Association said recently that 86 percent of smelters in the countrys main tin-producing region had cut production.
The Indonesian announcement may have prompted the initial rise in tin prices on the LME, but the increase was due mostly to a subsequent rally in copper prices, one tin trader said. "There is certainly no more business on the books."
A prolonged cutback would affect the market, but North America has not seen any substantial supply impact yet, according to a second trader. "If business tomorrow started to really ramp up, I think it could get very interesting," he said.