Overall, the value of exported tin rose by an average 257% for all exporting countries since 2015 when tin shipments were valued at $278.6 million. Year over the year, the value of exported tin appreciated by 148% from 2018 to 2019.
Tin is a key ingredient used to solder microelectronic components to circuit boards. Tin can prevent corrosion when coating other metals.
Applying a continental lens, Asian countries sold the highest dollar worth of exported tin during 2019 with shipments valued at $614 million or approaching two-thirds (61.7%) of the global total. In second place were African exporters at 20.6% trailed by one Oceania nation, Australia at 13.1%. Smaller percentages came from Europe (2.1%), Latin America (2%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean and North America (0.5%).
For research purposes, the 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix is 2609 for tin ores and concentrates.
Top Tin Exporters
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of tin during 2019.
- Myanmar (Burma): US$596.2 million (60% of total tin exports)
- Australia: $130.7 million (13.1%)
- Congo: $54.4 million (5.5%)
- Rwanda: $42.1 million (4.2%)
- Tanzania: $40.2 million (4%)
- Kenya: $31.6 million (3.2%)
- Democratic Rep. Congo: $30.7 million (3.1%)
- Brazil: $19.2 million (1.9%)
- Russia: $15.6 million (1.6%)
- Laos: $10 million (1%)
- United States: $4 million (0.4%)
- Burundi: $3 million (0.3%)
- Indonesia: $2.6 million (0.3%)
- Spain: $2.5 million (0.3%)
- Uganda: $1.9 million (0.2%)
The listed 15 countries shipped 99% of global tin exports in 2019 by value.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing tin exporters since 2015 were: Kenya (up 1,582,150%), Spain (up 249,200%), Myanmar also known as Burma (up 12,329%) and Tanzania (up 9,413%).
The sole top supplier that posted a decline in their exported tin sales over the 5-year period were Brazil due to its -8.2% drop.
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for tin during 2019. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the surplus between the value of each country’s exported tin and its import purchases for that same commodity.
- Myanmar (Burma): US$596 million (net export surplus up 12,335% since 2015)
- Australia: $130.7 million (up 31.2%)
- Congo: $54.4 million (no 2015 data)
- Rwanda: $42.1 million (up 24.3%)
- Tanzania: $40.2 million (up 9413%)
- Kenya: $31.6 million (reversing a -$44,000 deficit)
- Democratic Rep. Congo: $30.6 million (up 11.1%)
- Brazil: $18.3 million (down -12.2%)
- Russia: $15.6 million (up 754.1%)
- Laos: $10 million (up 1,408%)
- United States: $4 million (up 87.6%)
- Burundi: $3 million (no 2015 data)
- Spain: $2.3 million (down -683%)
- Indonesia: $2.2 million (down -1,954%)
- Uganda: $1.9 million (no 2015 data)
Commonly referred to Burma, Myanmar has by far the highest surplus in the international trade of tin. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms Myanmar’s strong competitive advantage for this specific product category.
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for tin during 2019. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports. Thus, the statistics below present the deficit between the value of each country’s imported tin purchases and its exports for that same commodity.
- China: -US$661.5 million (net export deficit up 77.1% since 2015)
- Malaysia: -$373.6 million (up 29.4%)
- Thailand: -$115.5 million (up 129%)
- Belgium: -$3.6 million (reversing a $2.6 million surplus)
- Taiwan: -$2 million (up 48.3%)
- Cuba: -$962,000 (no 2015 data)
- United Arab Emirates: -$877,000 (up 1,620%)
- Zambia: -$706,000 (no 2015 data)
- United Kingdom: -$529,000 (reversing a $257,000 surplus)
- Poland: -$308,000 (up 63%)
- Saudi Arabia: -$247,000 (up 474.4%)
- Cambodia: -$232,000 (no 2015 data)
- Romania: -$143,000 (up 57.1%)
- Philippines: -$96,000 (down -77.2%)
- Italy: -$42,000 (down -14.3%)
The People’s Republic of China incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of tin. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights strong Chinese competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for tin-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand.
Tin Exporting Companies
Below are the top 10 tin-producing companies that also engage in the international trade of tin presented in descending order based on tin output. The home country for each business is shown within parenthesis.
- Yunnan Tin (China)
- Malaysia Smelting Corporation (Malaysia)
- PT Timah (Indonesia)
- Yunnan Tin Chengfeng (China)
- Minsur (Peru)
- EM Vinto (Bolivia)
- Thaisarco (Thailand)
- Guangxi China Tin (China)
- Metallo Chimique (Belgium)
- Gejiu Zi-Li (China)
Searchable List of Tin Exporting Countries in 2019
You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of the columns. An entry of 0% in the right-most column means 2018 data was unavailable.
|Rank||Exporter||Tin Exports (US$)||%World Total|
|7.||Democratic Rep. Congo||$30,749,000||3.1%|
See also Top Nickel Exporters by Country, Top Aluminum Exporters by Country and Top Stainless Steel Exporters by Country
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on April 20, 2020
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 20, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on April 20, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 20, 2020
Statistica (The Statistics Portal), Leading tin producing companies worldwide in 2016. Accessed on April 20, 2020