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Recent price strength might not last


Tin enjoyed about a $1,000 price recovery from mid-March to mid-April, involving decent bouts of short-covering at times, which saw prices firmly break above their psychological level of $21,000 per tonne. Not for the first time, and surely not the last, Indonesia was largely behind the price move, as exports have been disrupted since the start of the year, first by delays in issuing export permits and then by the government’s decision to freeze all new permits while reviewing its licensing regulations.

That has tightened availability in the international market, resulting in higher prices and premiums. But given the temporary nature of this administrative bottleneck and the fact that, once resolved, the backlog of tin built up in Indonesia is likely to flood out, we must be wary that tin’s recent rally may prove unsustainable over the course of Q2. So Metal Bulletin Research maintains a relatively cautious price forecast for the moment, of $21,000 per tonne.

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