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.