Bloomberg News

Timah Delays Plan to Start Tin Exports Until Price Recovers

October 19, 2011

(Adds comments from executive in third paragraph.)

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- PT Timah, the largest tin exporter, will delay a plan to resume shipments until prices recover and as the company continues to negotiate with its contractual buyers, an executive said.

Timah will uphold an instruction from Bangka Belitung Governor Eko Maulana Ali and an agreement with other producers to halt spot overseas sales until prices rebound to $25,000 a metric ton, Corporate Secretary Abrun Abubakar said today.

“We haven’t agreed with our buyers” Abubakar said by telephone from Pangkalpinang, Bangka. “We will keep delaying shipments because we don’t want to sell at a low price.” The company said on Oct. 13 that it was negotiating with customers including LG International Corp. and Mitsubishi Corp. to agree on price of $23,000 so it can restart shipments this week.

Timah joined Indonesian producers in suspending exports on Oct. 1 in a bid to reverse a rout in prices by choking off supplies to the global market. Prices have fallen 21 percent this year on concern that demand may slow if the world economy reenters recession.

Producers in Indonesia will meet Oct. 23 in Bangka to discuss further measures to support prices, Johan Murod, a director at PT Bangka Belitung Timah Sejahtera, a group of six smelters, said yesterday. Bangka Belitung islands are Indonesia’s main tin producing region.

Producers’ Meeting

“We will discuss what can we do to support prices in the short and longer term,” Murod said in a mobile-phone text message today. Timah Sejahtera and other small smelters in Bangka are committed to maintain the halt until prices gain to at least $25,000 a ton, a break-even level, he said.

Tin for three-month delivery fell 0.7 percent to $21,200 a ton at 1:52 p.m. in Singapore on the London Metal Exchange. The contract plunged 17 percent last month, touching a 14-month low of $17,000. Timah shares gained 1.6 percent to 1,860 rupiah in Jakarta. The stock has declined 32 percent this year, compared with a 0.5 percent drop on the benchmark Jakarta Composite Index.

--Editors: Ovais Subhani, James Poole

To contact the reporters on this story: Yoga Rusmana in Jakarta at yrusmana@bloomberg.net; Eko Listiyorini in Jakarta at elistiyorini@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net


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