JAKARTA Feb 19 Indonesian trade ministry
officials are in talks with the country's tin industry on making
tin solder exports subject to a six-month old domestic trading
rule, officials said, closing a loophole that has boosted solder
Shipments of tin from the world's top exporter have been
hampered by a regulation introduced in August that forces all
tin ingot shipments to trade via a local platform before being
exported. Any change could cause further disruption to the flow
of the base metal.
Tin exports plunged after the rule came into effect in a bid
to halt illegal mining and give Indonesia greater control over
prices. Exports have partly recovered but remain erratic,
falling 50 percent in January on a year earlier to 4,613 tonnes,
including both ingots and solder.
Unlike tin ingots, solder is not subject to the domestic
trading rule until January 2015, which has caused a sharp spike
in monthly tin solder shipments, from 756 tonnes last October to
1,460 tonnes in January.
Indonesia's sole tin trading platform is run by the
Indonesia Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (ICDX), which wants
the government to close the loophole on solder, said a trade
ministry official who declined to be identified because he is
not authorised to speak to the media.
"There is no exact plan to revise tin export regulation so
far," said the official, adding that no draft regulation or time
frame had yet been agreed. "So far it is just an idea to bring
tin solder into the exchange."
The ICDX was unable to give immediate comment on Wednesday,
but a senior official at Indonesia's top tin miner PT Timah
confirmed the trade ministry was dicussing the tin
A source at a solder manufacturer with a unit in Indonesia
said that some companies had set up solder making operations in
a bid to dodge the new trading rules, which require ingot
exporters to join the ICDX.
He was concerned any changes to existing rules would harm
existing businesses by boosting administrative costs and
affecting their competitiveness on global markets.
"It is not good news for the industry," he said.
The trade ministry official said no decision had been made
on accelerated trading rules for solder, and noted that the
trade ministry sees it as a finished product, which is in line
with the government's policy of promoting downstream industries.
Industry group ITRI, which has forecast a 6 percent rise in
Indonesia's 2014 tin output to 90,000 tonnes, has previously
described the rise in solder exports as a loophole that should
be looked into.
(Reporting by Yayat Supriatna and Michael Taylor in Jakarta.
Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Sydney.; Editing by