LONDON Indonesias trade ministry has announced
plans to relax impurity limits for tin exports just one week
after imposing new regulations, the International Tin Research
Institute (ITRI) said.
The new regulations were originally announced in December 2012,
and stated that refined tin exported from the country after
July 1, 2013, must contain a minimum 99.9 percent tin, with
specific maximum impurity limits for nine other elements,
including aluminum and zinc.
However, a revised version, signed by Indonesian Trade Minister
Gita Wirjawan on June 28 has been published on the
ministrys website and states that the maximum limit for
lead has been increased from 100 ppm (parts per million) to 300
ppm. The only other specified limit is 50 ppm of iron.
The revision was reportedly made after certain smelters said
they were unable to meet the content restrictions, ITRI said.
Indonesian shipments had been expected to fall sharply
this month if the stricter quality controls, which had been
strongly supported by state tin company PT Timah (Tbk), were
maintained and enforced, the organization said.
The revised regulation also requires tin producers to trade
ingots in the local physical market before export, effective
Aug. 30, and for other tin products from Jan. 1, 2015,
according to reports.
The latest move suggests that any dislocation will now be
less severe. It is not clear how the new reference to a
domestic tin market will work, ITRI said. While the
Indonesian Commodity and Derivatives Exchange launched a tin
contract (Inatin) in February last year, traded volumes have
been negligible to date.
A version of this article was first published in AMM sister
publication Metal Bulletin.