Tin is one of the most valuable minerals in the world with a global production of about 0.3 million metric tons annually. Tin occurs naturally as an ore known as cassiterite with many countries around the world boasting millions of tons of the ore. China has the richest tin ore reserves on Earth, which are estimated at about 1.5 million tons of the ore. Tin ore is ranked as the 939th most traded commodity in the world.
Tin Ore Exporting Countries
The total amount of tin ore exported globally is estimated at the value $770 million. The South-East-Asian nation of Burma (Myanmar) is the largest exporter of the ore with annual exports being valued at $367 million representing 48% of the global export value. Myanmar’s sudden prominence in the global tin market is attributed to the recent discovery of huge opencast mines which have even altered the global prices of the metal. The second-largest exporter of the mineral ore is Australia with annual exports being valued at $98.5 million or 12% of the global exports. Australia has rich tin ore reserves which are concentrated in the Renison Bell deposit in Tasmania with estimates putting the total amount at about 7 million tons. Coming in third place is the small East-African nation of Rwanda with the annual tin ore export valued at $67.9 million, representing 8.8% of the global export value. Malaysia is Rwanda’s biggest market for the ore and consumes 42% of Rwanda’s tin ore. The Democratic Republic of Congo is the world’s fourth largest exporter of tin ore and is the second largest exporter of the ore in Africa. The total exports of tin ore from the Democratic Republic of Congo are estimated to be $47 million, accounting for 6.1% of the total global exports.
Tin Ore Importing Countries
The global imports of tin ore are estimated at the value of $700 million. It is important to note that all the top five largest importers of tin ore are all Asian countries. China is the biggest market of the mineral ore with the country importing tin ore valued at $371 million accounting for 48% of the total global imports. The second largest consumer of tin ore is Malaysia whose total annual imports of the ore are valued at $281 million and represent 37% of the total imports in the world. The South-East-Asian country of Thailand is the third largest consumer of tin ore with annual imports valued at $50.3 million or 6.5% of the total global tin ore imports. Singapore is the fourth largest market for tin ore in the world with total annual imports being valued at $19 million representing 2.5% of the total global imports. Vietnam comes in as the fifth biggest market for tin ore. The tiny island nation’s annual imports of tin ore are valued at $13.7 million or 1.8% of the global imports of tin ore.
Future Of Tin Ore Production
Mines, where tin ore is produced, are becoming deeper, making mining an expensive exercise. Analysts forecast that in future the supply of tin ore will not sustain the rapidly-growing global demand due to new tin ore deposits becoming increasingly rare.