Malaysian Smelting Corporation to lift its force majeure

Major tin smelter Malaysian Smelting Corporation (MSC) has set the date on which it will lift its force majeure.
In a note sent to ITA by MSC, the company announced that it will no longer be acting under the clause from midnight on 20 December 2021.
The force majeure has been in place since 7 June 2021. Following a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, the nation’s government called on much of the country’s industry to lockdown their operations, forcing MSC to cease smelting.
The company has been slowly ramping up operations in recent months as the Malaysian lockdown has eased. According to CEO Dato’ Dr Patrick Yong, the company was prioritising its tolling partners, rather than purchasing tin concentrate.
Although the company does plan to lift the force majeure imminently, the note did warn that it may take a while for the smelter to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Despite rising cases of the Omicron variant around the world, MSC now deems it safe enough to begin ramping up to full capacity once again. In Malaysia, some 79% of the population is fully vaccinated, significantly higher than the global average of 43%. This should help ease the tight tin market; while spot demand outside of China has fallen in recent months, most producers remain at capacity. Tin prices moved markedly lower after the last few days as macroeconomic concerns impacted the entire base metals basket. Spot deals have been thin in recent weeks, with most focused on 2022; material has instead been flowing into LME and SHFE warehouses.

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