Why has the price of tin jumped in recent weeks? The economic rebound in Japan and parts of Europe has spurred increased demand for the commodity. Tin is used for soldering, especially in electronics. Inventories are down 50%.
The increased demand has come with falling production, especially in Indonesia, the world's largest producer. Tin prices have risen 30% in two months. On the London Metals Exchange (LME), tin traded as high as $20,750 per ton. This is the highest level since August 2008.
There is not only a tin rally; prices of other base metals are also climbing. Here are some recent prices:
- Copper has risen more than 20% since early June. Three-month copper on the LME traded at $7,500 per ton.
- Aluminum has risen above $2,200 per ton.
- Lead traded at $2,250 per ton.
- Nickel is above $21,500 per ton.
- Australian iron ore (62% iron content) is trading at $143,60 per ton.
This rebound in base metals is a good thing. The metals are used in construction and electronics. China has had a surge in housing construction and the world is seeing increased production in electronics.