Govt Bans Unregistered Tin Exports

JAKARTA ~ From Wednesday, the government banned unregistered firms from exporting refined tin as prices for the metal soar to historic highs on supply concerns.

It said only exporters registered with the Trade Ministry’s directorate general for external trade would be allowed to export refined tin.

Refined tin for export must be produced from ore obtained from legal mining contractors and the shipment of refined tin will only be allowed after exporters have paid royalties, the government said in a decree issued on Tuesday.

The ruling comes just months after the government cracked down on illegal smelter operations in the Bangka-Belitung islands, which account for nearly half of the country’s refined tin exports.

Tin prices reached US$11,850 on Monday, the highest level since 1989, when the metal was reintroduced on the London market.

Prices are bouncing higher due to a fall in output from Indonesia, which is the world’s second-biggest producer of the metal, and booming demand from countries such as China and India.

In a separate decree, the government has from Wednesday also banned the export of soil and sand in an effort to minimize environmental damage.

“Therefore, to anticipate further worse environmental damage, it is deemed necessary to add all sand types, besides sea sand, various soil and top soil, as goods that are forbidden to export,” a decree issued by the trade minister said.

Companies that have already signed export contracts have until February 5 to fulfill them.

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