Tin Trading Still Suspended, Other Metals Prices Stable
LONDON (AP) _ Tin trading remained suspended Friday on the London Metal Exchange in the wake of a sharp price decline a day earlier, but members of an international price-support organization were said to be making progress on how to deal with the matter.
Meanwhile, prices of other metals were stable on the London exchange, apparently unaffected by the developments in the tin market.
The exchange said tin trading would remain suspended at least through Monday. Some metals traders said they doubted the market would reopen before Wednesday, following Tuesday’s scheduled meeting of the full governing council of the International Tin Council.
Trading in tin was suspended Thursday after the council, which is composed of 22 tin-producing and tin-consuming nations, ran out of money and ceased to support prices by buying the market’s surplus tin.
Before the London tin market was closed Thursday, the price of tin fell by 300 British pounds, or about $426, to 8,140 pounds, about $11,559, per metric ton.
The heads of the member countries’ delegations to the ITC met privately in London. Afterward, Pieter De Koning, a council official, said the talks were making progress.
″We are looking at ways to restore confidence in the ITC,″ he said.
De Koning is in charge of buying tin for the ITC and managing the ITC’s tin stockpile to attempt to stabilize prices.
Tin council delegates, who spoke on condition they not be named, said the ITC was considering asking member governments to contribute more money to the ITC or to guarantee the debts.
De Koning said Thursday one of the council’s biggest problems was oversupply in the market because of expanding production by non-members.
He said the council had not received any of the 60 million pounds, or $85 million, in contributions approved by producer members at a meeting of government ministers last month in Canberra, Australia. The money was to have been used to help buy tin and help stabilize prices.
The council’s six producer members are Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Zaire and Nigeria. Tin traders said the main offending non-members were Brazil and China.
Traders said the tin crisis did not spill over into the other metals traded on the exchange. Trading was calm, and the prices of copper, lead, zinc, aluminum, nickel and silver were little-changed Friday from their prices late Thursday.