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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        25 January 2011

Tin price at all-time high

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The price of tin on the Kuala Lumpur Tin Market (KLTM) soared to close at an all-time high of US$27,500 per tonne yesterday on concerns over tight supplies amid continued strong demand, especially from Europe, Japan, China and India.

The tin price on the KLTM is closely tracking the movement and trading patterns of tin on the London Metal Exchange (LME), said Malaysian Chamber of Mines (MCOM) executive director Muhamad Nor Muhamad.

"Even when MCOM officials visited the LME last October, traders and dealers there were so bullish on tin prices and demand for the commodity for this year," he said.

He noted that demand from China and India for minerals was still intact, adding that the surge in the price of tin was a good sign for the commodity this year. Muhamad Nor expects tin to be strongly traded at current levels for the rest of the year.

A dealer said there was a shortage of tin currently as production from major producer Indonesia was slowing down due to the monsoon seasons. "I expect this shortage situation to continue for quite some time but it is still hard to grasp the extent (of the price rise)."

Meanwhile, a Bernama report quoted dealers as saying that demand from Europe had shot up recently due to the severe winter situation and this eventually drove up the price of tin on the LME. Last Friday, tin price on the LME rose US$745 to US$27,745 a tonne.

Turnover on the KLTM rose to 100 tonnes from 50 tonnes last Friday, with the participation of Japanese, European and local traders. The price difference between the KLTM and LME has widened to US$175 a tonne against US$140 a tonne previously.

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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