In a series of papers presented at the International Tin Conference this month, it was shown that global solder shipments in the first quarter of 2010 were over 50% higher than the very depressed first quarter of 2009.

According to Phil Macoun from CRU, China has been transformed from being a large net tin exporter to a net importer, with supply being increasingly constrained by raw materials availability.
Another paper suggested that investment in new mine capacity is patchy, despite substantial investments in future supply of tin by companies such as YTC, PT Timah, Minsur and Metals X. 
The tin industry has been affected by the issue of artisanal mining and ‘conflict’ minerals, with growing pressure from NGOs and governments to restrict supply from some sources, notably parts of the DR Congo.