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Green revolution stimulates tin supply gap

Update Time: 2021-06-30

The international tin Association (ITA) said on Tuesday that with the rising demand for electronic equipment, the tin supply gap is expected to expand in the next few years and drive the green revolution. At the same time, tin investment has been lagging behind.

Tin prices topped $30000 a ton last month, the first in a decade, and have risen more than 50% this year, mainly due to production problems and low inventories.

In an online meeting on Tuesday, the ITA said the global tin market shortage is expected to increase from 10200 tons this year to 12700 tons in 2022.

According to the presentation slide at the meeting, the annual demand for tin will reach 430000 tons by 2025, an increase of about 20% over 2020. The slide show does not include the estimated shortage.

Jeremy Pearce, director of technology at ITA, said at the meeting, "if we extend the time to 2030, the number will be larger, but at present we are only confident in the forecast of 2025."

It also said that the new era of interconnection automation of electronic equipment and the construction of 5g network will drive the demand for tin.

Tin is also needed for a range of technologies that help reduce carbon emissions, such as metal strips for solar devices, lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, and catalysts for carbon capture.

The biggest use of tin, which accounts for half of the demand, is the solder used by the electronics industry to connect components.

Pearce said global emission reduction targets would also boost tin demand. This factor will mainly play a role in 2025-2030, but the use of tin in solar installations has begun to increase.

In addition, ITA market analyst James Willoughby said that investment in new tin mines has been insufficient in recent years, and only four new mines will be put into operation in the short term. Other mines are likely to speed up, but the maximum capacity of new mines is expected to be only 38700 tons by 2025.

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