Following on the heels of record-setting tin prices in 2021, the price outlook for 2022 is slightly softer as continued demand growth spurs increased investment to bolster metal supply, according to a new report by IndexBox.
According to an October World Bank forecast, the average annual tin price will reduce by 0.8%, from $31,250 per tonne in 2021 to $31,000 per tonne in 2022.
Tin prices peaked at $39,159 per tonne in November 2021, soaring by 79% from the beginning of that year. The spike was driven by a shortage resulting from sharply heightened demand from the electronics sector, where tin is used for circuit board manufacturing, while the total volume of metal output was insufficient.
“However, prices won’t return to pre-pandemic levels due to the high cost of energy resources,” says IndexBox in a media release.
Tin prices were on a tear in 2021, rising from $21,920 per tonne in January and storming to record highs by November, marking tin as one of the best-performing commodities in 2021.
Click here for an interactive chart of tin prices
According to IndexBox data, that spike was instigated by a metal deficit due to rising demand from the electronics sector, while global production stagnated over the past decade. Environmental restrictions, increased energy prices, and high freight rates coupled with the limitation of metal smelting in China propelled tin prices.
In value terms, analysts estimate revenues for global tin production to have shrunk by 11.3% in 2020, with China the leading consumer at 181,000 tonnes of metal in 2020 with the US the second-largest consumer at 30,000 tonnes.
Global tin exports fell 1.9% in 2020 from 2019 to 186,000 tonnes.
Leading the suppliers was Indonesia, which produced 65,000 tonnes of finished tin for 35% market share.