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premiums for Grade A tin have remained stable amid a run-up in
prices on the London Metal Exchange as demand resumes a slow
pace and sources report minimal spot buying.
"Its starting off slow.
Its a little better than December, but December was
pretty bad," one trader said of January tin business so
A tin buyer agreed that year-end
activity was slow, noting that while business picked up
slightly in the first few trading days of the new year, the
uptick nonetheless was nothing to write home about.
"We were a little slower in
December, and we picked up here in the start of the new year,"
another tin buyer said. "Were hoping it continues."
With little new activity,
premiums for Grade A tin remain unchanged at $600 to $750 per
tonne, although the recent run-up in LME tin prices had at
least some consumers seeking lower premiums in order to
compensate for the higher cost of the metal, sources said.
Three-month tin settled at
$24,725 per tonne in official trading Friday on the LME, up 5.6
percent from $23,405 at the end of December and well above
fourth-quarter lows below $20,000 per tonne in October.
Meanwhile, earlier concern over
potential port strikes has waned for most market sources. With
tin a major import product, market players had worried that a
threatened walkout by the International Longshoremens
Association could disrupt supply, but an extension of the
deadline for contract negotiations to the start of February (
amm.com, Dec. 28) has temporarily abated those
concerns, sources said.
"Theyve kicked the can
down the road, but I think its going to be resolved," the
trader said, noting that limited business suggests most
consumers are not particularly concerned about future
Still, some said they remain
wary. "I know people really have their eye on whether that will
cause a shortage," a tin buyer said.