According to the International Tin Research Institute it is the highest monthly level since April 2009. The jump reflects the very large premium of Chinese domestic market prices over the London Metal Exchange in recent months, encouraging arbitrage trading.

The China domestic price has been higher than LME price from August - the differential was briefly as high as $9,900/tonne at the end of September when the LME price was falling very quickly.

The premium has remained close to the $7,000/tonne level in October, so import demand from China is still well supported. LME stocks have declined by more than 4,000 tonnes in recent weeks, and most of the tin withdrawn from the exchange warehouses in Singapore and Johor, Malaysia has probably flowed into China. Volumes could have been larger, but imports from LME warehouses have been delayed by lengthy load-out queues from Johor –the LME warehouse holding most remaining stocks.

Tin powder is used in solders, electronics and the manufacture of porous oil-filled bronze bearings.