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Tin Jumps to Record as Stockpiles Drop in London, Indonesian Exports Fall

Tin, the best performer this year on the London Metal Exchange, advanced to a record onshrinking global inventories and dwindling supplies from Indonesia, the world'slargest exporter.

The metal for three-month delivery on the LME rose as much as 1.8 percentto $27,250 a metric ton, and traded at that price at 4:01 p.m. in Singapore.Tin, used as a solder and in packaging, has advanced 61 percent this year. 

Stockpiles tracked by the exchange have dropped 54percent in 2010, falling to an 18-month low on Oct. 12. Exports from Indonesiadeclined in the first nine months of this year to about 67,011 tons from 75,553tons a year earlier, the Ministry of Trade said yesterday. "Indonesian exports are likely to struggle over the balance of the year," Leon Westgate, an analyst at Standard Bank Plc, said inan e-mail yesterday. Tin output by PT Timah, Indonesia's largest producer, may miss a targetthis year and the company is trying to renegotiate supplies with customers,according to Oct. 12 comments from an executive.

Timah may produce 40,000 tonsthis year compared with the 45,000-ton target, Corporate Secretary AbrunAbubakar said. A La Nina weather event has brought heavier-than-usual rainfall to parts ofAustralia and Asia this year, including Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy.The rains have hurt tin production and also been blamed by industry groups inthe country for lower output or missed forecasts for cocoa and coal. Output in China, the world's largest producer, may be curbed until theyearend because of limitations on power use, tin industry group ITRI Ltd. saidon Sept. 29. A general ban on mining was also imposed last month in threeeastern provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa's largest tinproducer.     

By : Bloomberg
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