Metal tin is not only a necessary industrial raw material for the production of various home appliances and electronic products, but also widely used in emerging industries such as photovoltaics and new energy vehicles.
Since the end of last year, the price of tin has fluctuated and risen, and the main contract price of Shanghai tin has risen by more than 30% in the past three months.
According to USGS, as of the end of 2022, the global tin reserves will be 4.6 million tons, which is 52.08% lower than the 9.6 million tons reserves in 2000. Due to long-term mining, traditional tin-producing areas are facing decline in grade, shortage of manpower and rising mining cost and other factors.
Market analysis of tin
Tin, used in electronics, is in short supply in the first half of 2021, driving prices to increase in the market. Tin, used in electronics, is in short supply in the first half of 2021, driving prices to increase in the market.
In the medium term, surging demand in the electric vehicle market and increasing applications in the electrical and electronics industry is expected to drive the market over the forecast period.
Availability of substitutes such as aluminum and tin-free steel used in the production of metal products such as containers hampers the growth of the market. Shifting focus towards recycling of tin is expected to create opportunities for the market in the years following the forecast period. The Asia Pacific region is expected to dominate the market and is expected to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period.
What is the main market trend for tin?
Tin is a soft, pliable, silver-white metal that is malleable and malleable. It is mainly derived from the mineral cassiterite, which contains about 80% tin.
The tin market is segmented by product type, application, end-user industry, and geography. By product type, the market is segmented into metals, alloys, and compounds. By application, the market is segmented into solder, tin plating, chemicals, and other applications (specialty alloys, lead-acid batteries). By end-user industry, the market is segmented into automotive, electronics, packaging, glass and other end-user industries.
- Welding is the fastest growing application in tin material
Tin is an important ingredient in solder because it melts at temperatures well below its melting point and adheres to many common base metals.
Tin-lead solders are commonly used in electronics when heat-sensitive components melt, crumble or deform at high temperatures. The advantage of tin-lead solder is corrosion resistance. They are also used to connect pipes and circuits.
On PCBs, solder is a metal alloy that serves as an electromechanical connection between components and the substrate and provides electrical continuity to the board.
Currently, the electronics industry is the major end-user industry that highly uses tin-based solders. Growing demand from the electronics industry is driving the demand for tin-based solders.
The electronics and electrical industries use solders that contain 40-70% tin to provide strong, reliable joints in a wide range of environmental conditions. Currently, most assemblers are using a patented tin-copper based solder. Owing to all these factors, welding is expected to be the fastest growing application during the forecast period (2022-2027).
Insufficient reserve, tight supply and strong demand makes tin’s price fluctuate
According to the forecast data of the Tin Industry Association, affected by factors such as tin prices, the increase in global tin effective production capacity before 2025 is relatively limited. The consumption of tin ore resources is relatively large in the world, but the newly added reserves are far behind the consumption of tin ore resources.
At present, the reserve-production ratio of tin ore resources is only 14.84. The main reason is that, compared with other types of minerals, the investment in exploration of global tin ore resources is relatively small, and the number of newly discovered tin deposits is limited, so tin ore reserves are declining year by year.
Tight supply is tight and the demand continues to be strong, boosting the price of tin.
In terms of tin ore production, the output of tin mines in China and Indonesia, the major tin-producing countries, has declined severely in recent years. Since 2006, it has fallen by 16%, and the total share has dropped from 71% to the current 55%.
Due to the lack of mining experience and exploration resources in Myanmar, Africa and other countries and regions, although the mining progress has been accelerated in recent years, it is mainly based on small-scale production.
In terms of demand, refined tin is widely used, mainly in tin solder, tin chemical industry, tinplate and other fields. As the demand for tin resources continues to grow, the supply of tin ore resources will be tense in the future. Tin prices have room to rise under the boost.
Tin: demand gap in PCB of the new energy industry
As the most important downstream application of tin, tin solder is an important raw material in the electrification of new energy vehicles and photovoltaic ribbons of photovoltaic modules.
In new energy vehicles, tin is mainly used in specific links such as tin spraying and immersion tin in the production of PCB. With the continuous acceleration of the development of new energy vehicles and the continuous penetration of intelligence, the electronic solder required for new energy vehicles is more than traditional Automobiles and will have rapid growth.