Tin: Prices on the rise for the forgotten high technology metal

London Metal Exchange (LME) three-month tin is facing an uptrend in 2019, going back to over US$20,000/t for the first time since late July 2018. LME tin stocks have been maintained at record low levels since Q2 2017.

Roskill view

Besides the record low in LME stocks, several other reasons may be contributing to price rises in 2019. The trend might be a reflex to growing US-China trade hopes after official talks in recent weeks. The prices of other metals such as copper, nickel, zinc and lead also rose. Increasing prices might also be a response to the largely overlooked role of tin as solder in the high technology revolution. Tin was singled out as the market most impacted relative to its size in a 2018 Massachusetts Institute of Technology study commissioned by Rio Tinto.

LME Tin 3-month seller price

Source: LME