China’s Yunnan Tin Company was the largest producer of tin in 2020. Find out which other companies made the list.
World tin production decreased in 2020, amounting to 270,000 metric tons (MT) compared with 296,000 MT in 2019. China retained its position as the largest producer of tin with output of 81,000 MT, with Indonesia coming in a distant second at 66,000 MT.
According to the US Geological Survey’s most recent report on the metal, the decline in tin production came on the back of higher prices. That coincides with the fact that the tin market has been in deficit for nine of the last 10 years, and is expected to remain in deficit as tin use increases.
While it’s interesting to look at tin production at the country level, it’s also worth knowing which companies are the largest producers of tin. That information can be found on the International Tin Association’s list of the 10 top refined tin-producing companies. Read on to learn more details on the largest producers of tin in 2020.
1. Yunnan Tin Company (SZSE:000960)
Refined tin production: 74,800 tonnes
China’s Yunnan Tin Company was easily the largest producer of tin in 2020, putting out 74,800 tonnes of the metal; that’s a small decrease from the previous year. The company, which trades on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, is a subsidiary of state-owned Yunnan Tin Group (Holding) Company, which traces its roots back to 1883. In addition to being the largest tin-producing company in the world, Yunnan Tin Company is also the largest precious metals research and development center in China.
2. PT Timah (IDX:TINS)
Refined tin production: 45,700 tonnes
PT Timah is a state-owned Indonesian company that was established in 1976 and is headquartered in Bangka-Belitung province. It’s a manufacturer and exporter of tin with operations ranging from exploration and mining to processing to marketing. The company has a number of subsidiaries.
Last year, it produced 45,700 tonnes of tin, a sizeable decrease from 76,400 tonnes in 2019, dropping it from the number one spot. According to the International Tin Association, PT Timah was able to more than double its tin production in 2019 because Indonesia’s export regulations forced many private smelters to halt operations. In turn, some of these otherwise idle smelting facilities were rented to PT Timah, increasing its tin production capacity significantly. By 2020, many of those same private smelters were able to resume their own production.
3. Malaysia Smelting (KLSE:MSC)
Refined tin production: 22,400 tonnes
The third largest producer of tin last year was Malaysia Smelting, which produced 22,400 tonnes of tin in 2020, down from 24,300 tonnes in 2019. This company is also over a century old, and since 1887 has been a key integrated producer of tin and tin-based products, as well as a leader in custom tin smelting.
Refined tin production: 19,600 tonnes
The next-largest producer of tin last year was Peru-based, privately owned Minsur. The company also produces some gold. Last year, its tin output came in at 19,600 tonnes for the second year in a row.
The company’s origins date back to the beginning of the 20th century, and it currently owns the San Rafael mine, which it bills as South America’s largest tin-producing mine. San Rafael has been operated by Minsur since 1977, and today produces 12 percent of the world’s tin. Minsur also holds a smelter and refinery where it completes the tin production cycle.
5. Yunnan Chengfeng Non-ferrous Metals
Refined tin production: 16,500 tonnes
Founded in 1994, Yunnan Chengfeng Non-ferrous Metals is China’s second largest producer of tin, behind Yunnan Tin Company. In 2020, it produced 16,500 tonnes of tin, decreasing its output by 13.6 percent. Aside from tin, it produces indium, silver, gold, lead, bismuth and antimony. It has over 1,800 sets of smelting equipment, as well as 100 sets of environmental protection equipment.
6. Thailand Smelting and Refining
Refined tin production: 11,300 tonnes
Founded in 1963, Thailand Smelting and Refining, better known as THAISARCO, is a private firm that manufactures tin, tin alloys and tin-related value-added products. In 2020, the company produced 11,300 tonnes of tin. The company has been managed and operated by the UK’s Amalgamated Metal since 1995, and Amalgamated Metal is its largest shareholder.
7. Guangxi China Tin
Refined tin production: 10,100 tonnes
Guangxi China Tin is another of the largest producers of tin, putting out 10,100 tonnes last year. Behind Yunnan Tin Company and Yunnan Chengfeng Non-ferrous Metals, it’s the third biggest producer of tin in China. The private company, which was established in 1990, also produces indium, lead, antimony, zinc, silver, cadmium and bismuth, among other metals.
8. Jiangxi New Nanshan
Refined tin production: 10,100 tonnes
As its name suggests, Jiangxi New Nanshan entered the global tin market fairly recently when the first tin smelter came online in the Chinese province of Jiangxi in 2009. The smelter originally had a designed capacity of 10,000 tonnes of refined tin per year. In 2019, Jiangxi New Nanshan became a top 10 tin producer after a 122 percent increase in tin output. In 2020, the company raised its production level by more than 40 percent to reach 10,100 tonnes.
9. Metallo Chimique
Refined tin production: 8,100 tonnes
Belgium’s Metallo Chimique produced 8,100 tonnes of tin in 2020, down from 9,300 tonnes in 2019. The private company operates a unique recycling and refining facility that processes secondary raw materials for the production of copper, tin, lead and nickel.
Metallo is Europe’s largest tin producer and bills itself as a “zero waste producer.” It states that its tin ingots are “well known for the low level of lead content.”
10. Gejiu Zi-Li Metallurgy
Refined tin production: 7,000 tonnes
The last largest producer of tin on this list is China’s Gejui Zi-Li Metallurgy, which produced 7,000 tonnes of tin last year. Yunnan Tin Company bought a 67 percent stake in the company in 2007, and Gejui Zi-Li currently operates a smelter based in the same city as Yunnan Tin Company. A private company, Gejui Zi-Li is China’s fifth largest tin producer.
Now that you know about the largest producers of tin, would you invest in the metal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.