Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn and atomic number 50. It is a main group metal in group 14 of the periodic table.
In terms of production volume, tin is the smallest in the base metals. Cassiterite (SnO2) is the most important mineral ore of tin.
The small size of the market can mean tin faces liquidity issues at times, which can lead to increased volatility and some sharp and extended price moves.
The main use of tin in plating and in the manufacturing of chemical compounds which are used in different variety.
Tin is also used for coated purposes because tin-coated steel cans are more robust than aluminium cans which has advantage for tin foods.
Indonesia is the largest exporter of this metal and China is the largest producer and consumer in all over the world.
Indonesia behaves like a protector of tin in the market because it is slow down exports, when tin prices fall below marginal costs of production.
The exchange of London metal is the major referral market for future trading in tin.
The total production in all over the world is between 2.4 to 3.1 lakh tons. In 2001, it was estimated at 2.49 lakh tons.
The demand is estimated to be above the supply in all over the world.
The market size of tin plate packaging is estimated to be around 3,00,000 tons. In India, tin plate is mainly used for packaging in three categories: edible oil & cashew, processed food and non-food. Tinplate packaging is picking up in the country.
Tin production in India is about 10 tons.
It is estimated that India imports around 4000 tons of tin and alloys. In fact, India meets most of the requirements through imports.