After the strong price rally from sub-$19,000 per tonne in December 2017 to $22,000 per tonne at the end of January 2018, tin has failed to advance further. By mid-March, bulls capitulated as the important $21,000 per tonne level was breached. Prices bottomed at $20,600 per tonne during the sell-off, and volumes were hefty, signaling a significant trading intensity behind the fall.
As well as losing upward momentum, bulls threw in the towel due to a pick-up in broader negative factors (firmer dollar, a more hawkish Fed, weaker global risk appetite and the threat of a trade war), and signs of stronger tin supply in Asia after Indonesian exports had been temporarily curtailed by red tape earlier this year. Tin prices are now in a choppy downtrend and that may continue during Q2 if the stronger demand we expect to see this year, especially in China, does not offset the forecast pick-up in supply, led by Indonesia.
Metal Bulletin Research
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