NEW YORK Spot demand for tin remains extremely weak in
the United States, with some consumers even requesting to take
less contracted material or deferring orders, traders told
We just havent seen much interest at all, one
trader said. One of the steel mills we do business with
cut back on their contract because one of their largest
customers (who supplies the canning industry) asked to cut
The trader was kind of surprised, he said, adding,
I thought food (demand) stayed constant.
Most people are canceling or deferring (orders), a
second trader said. They just dont need (tin). It
seems like things are on the back burner.
A third trader told AMM that April has been slightly
better than March, but added, Its still too quiet.
Way too quiet. The trader speculated that customers had
overbought, but added, I didnt see a flurry of
activity in the fourth quarter, either.
Premiums for Grade A tin remain between $600 to $750 per tonne
as a result of tepid spot activity and a decline in tin prices
on the London Metal Exchange.
Three-month tin prices on the LME are down 8.5 percent at
$23,020 per tonne April 8 from this years high of $25,150
per tonne Jan. 17.
Consumers may be waiting for a further decline, sources said.
People could still be waiting for the price to fall down
even lower. Its hanging around ($23,000 per tonne). I
dont see it going up anytime soon, the third trader
said. But theres no long-term business at all. No
one is coming in looking to fix prices. And no ones
coming in to buy forward at any quantity at all.
Slower-than-expected growth in Asia coupled with the ongoing
debt crisis in Europe could be affecting tin markets, the first
trader said, adding that its only a matter of time until
the United States feels an impact. Asia is bad and Europe
is bad. Its all going to spill over, the first
trader said. I think it could be a very difficult year.
People will just have to dig their heels in and not worry about
it. Theres not much else you can do.
The whole first quarter was not what I anticipated it to
be, and the fourth quarter was off, the third trader
said. You expect things to be off in December, then pick
up in January and February and then roar in March. But March
was horrible. ... In the end, business will be pushed forward,
but that doesnt help us. Everyone has a business plan,
and that business plan has gone to hell in a handbasket.
He added, You can say no to someone when they come
looking to buy, but you cant make someone buy.