Tin could see a surge of new demand from lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage of up to 60,000 tonnes a year by 2030, the International Tin Association (ITA) said on Thursday.
Investors have been excited about the prospects for increased consumption of other metals, such as nickel, due to an expected ramp up of electric vehicles, but there has been less mention of tin, currently mainly used to make solder for the electronics industry.
The industry group did not give a forecast of overall tin consumption in 2030, but it has forecast demand of 357,000 tonnes for this year.
The ITA tracks global research and patents for tin markets and it has seen rising interest in the metal for energy materials and technologies, according to a report by the group.
New uses are mainly in high-capacity anode electrode materials, but also in solid-state and cathodes, it added.
“Three anode materials technologies are highlighted that could each reach 10-20,000 tonnes per year by 2030 if they gain market share in a highly competitive market. This could at least double by 2050,” a statement said.
Last November, the ITA said it expected the global tin market to move into a surplus of 500 tonnes this year from a 7,500-tonne deficit in 2018, mainly due to weaker demand in top market China.
(By Eric Onstad; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)