NEW YORK Tin markets
ground to a halt as traders reported zero consumer
"I was just taking a nap.
(Business is) almost backwards," one trader told
"Its slow. Pure and
simple. I dont know why. It shouldnt be this time
of year. Usually were running on all eight cylinders in
March. Its not a good omen," a second trader said.
"Very little is happening.
Its been pretty dull and uninteresting," a third trader
Tepid business kept spot
premiums for Grade A tin at $600 to $750 per tonne.
Electronics end markets appear
to be taking a breather, the second trader said, noting that
sluggish activity could be a result of ongoing budget cut
stalemates in Washington.
"All of the crap thats
going on in Washington is causing uncertainty, which is keeping
consumers from buying," the second trader said. "Business was
traditionally slow in November and December, and usually when
you walk in on Jan. 2 things start to (pick up). But
theres nothing happening."
It is concerning, particularly
as equity markets have hit new five-year highs, the second
"It should be busier. But our
customers customers customers just
arent ordering. ... Granted, it is only the seventh of
March and it only takes a couple of orders to change a mood.
But when youre in sales and youre not selling,
youre not in a good mood," he said.
"Weve reached a point
where everybody is sitting on enough (material) so less new
business is created," the third trader said.
The declining price of tin on
the London Metal Exchange has done little to spur consumer
interest, traders said.
Three-month tin closed the
LMEs official session at $23,525 per tonne March 7, up
slightly from $23,275 per tonne March 4 but down 6.3 percent
from this years high of $25,100 per tonne Jan. 31.
"Its down today, but
people are waiting for lower prices," the first trader