Against a background of unfavourable market conditions, China's largest tin firm, Yunnan Tin, is closing its main smelter for maintenance in order to reduce production. The company said that if prices remained at the prevailing level of US$4,700 per tonne for a three-month contract, the closure would last a month. However if market conditions were even more unfavourable, the closure would be extended for at least another month. Yunnan Tin's main smelter is at Gejiu in Yunnan province and company officials said so far this year it had been producing around 2,000 tonnes a month.
Other Chinese tin producers have been cutting back production because of difficulties in obtaining concentrate, said Reuters. This has forced some to shut down, while others are producing below their capacities.
China's second largest smelter, Liuzhou China Tin of Guangxi, said that it plans to produce around 14,000 tonnes this year, up from last year's 13,000 tonnes but well below the volume it was producing a few years ago. Meanwhile, Yifeng Tin of Hunan province has closed down because of raw material and cashflow problems.