General Characteristics

  • Cassiterite (SnO2) is the most important mineral ore of tin.  
  • Tin is an important commodity in international trade and is used in hundreds of industrial processes throughout the world.
  • Utilization is in many industries such as food packaging, culinary equipment, electronics, tin chemicals, plumbing solders, engineering alloys, pewter and bronze in music and the arts, dental amalgams, anti corrosion and engineering coatings, wine capsules and fire retardants. Tin readily forms alloy with other metals and imparts hardness and strength. Tin is an important component of solders, since it wets the base metal by alloying with it.
  • The industrial application of tin is in the following sectors: Solders - 32 %, Tin Plate - 27 %, Others - 17 %, Alloys - 14 %, P C Stabilizers - 6%, Tinning - 4%.


Global Scenario

  • The world tin production fluctuates between 2.4 to 3.1 lakh tons. The production in 2001, is estimated at 2.49 lakh tons.
  • China (80000 - 1,00,000 tons), Indonesia (54000-90000 tons), Peru (50000 - 70000 tons), Bolivia (12000 - 15000 tons) and Brazil (12000 to 14000 tons) are the major producers of tin in the world. These five producers account for around 91% of the world's total production. The other important producers are Australia, Vietnam and Malaysia are the other major producers. 
  • United States is believed to be the world's largest producer of secondary tin.
  • World tin consumption is estimated to have exceeded supply by 15000 tons in 2003.
  • Japan is estimated to be the largest consumer of tin in the world. The other major consumers are China and USA.
  • Globally, the demand is estimated to be above the supply.


Major Tin Markets

  • The London Metal exchange is the major referral market for futures trading in tin. 


Indian Scenario

  • India's tin production is a meager 10 tons. 
  • India meets most of her tin requirements through imports. It is estimated that India imports around 4000 tons of tin and its alloys (including scrap). 
  • Tinplate packaging is picking up in the country. 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.