Year over year, the value of globally exported tin accelerated by 197.1% compared to $263.4 million during 2020.
Tin is a key ingredient used to solder microelectronic components to circuit boards. Tin can prevent corrosion when coating other metals.
The 5 biggest suppliers of tin on international markets are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Australia, Rwanda, Bolivia, and Vietnam. Combined, that quintet of leading tin exporters collected 87.8% of international sales from exports of tin in 2021.
Applying a continental lens, countries in Africa sold the highest dollar worth of exported tin during 2021 with shipments valued at $372.9 million or 47.6% of the global total. In second place was Oceania’s Australia at 31.8% trailed by Latin America (8.9%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, and Asia (7%).
Smaller percentages came from providers in Europe (4%) and North America (0.7%).
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 2021.
- Democr. Rep. Congo: US$290.4 million (37.1% of total tin exports)
- Australia: $249.2 million (31.8%)
- Rwanda: $59.3 million (7.6%)
- Bolivia: $58.9 million (7.5%)
- Vietnam: $29.6 million (3.8%)
- Russia: $17.5 million (2.2%)
- Malaysia: $13.1 million (1.7%)
- Namibia: $10.9 million (1.4%)
- Brazil: $10.5 million (1.3%)
- Spain: $7.6 million (1%)
- Hong Kong: $5.4 million (0.7%)
- Tanzania: $5.2 million (0.7%)
- United States: $4.8 million (0.6%)
- Nigeria: $3.8 million (0.5%)
- France: $3.8 million (0.5%)
By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 98.4% of globally exported tin in 2021.
Among the top exporters, the fastest-growing tin exporters since 2020 were: Malaysia (up 1,138%), Tanzania (up 827.7%), Nigeria (up 653.1%) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (up 626.3%).
Countries Earning Largest Trade Surpluses from Tin
The following countries posted the highest positive net exports for tin during 2021. 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.
- Democr. Rep. Congo: US$290.2 million (net export surplus up 626% since 2020)
- Australia: $249.2 million (up 105.3%)
- Bolivia: $58.9 million (up 95.6%)
- Rwanda: $55.8 million (up 175.1%)
- Vietnam: $29.4 million (down -375.2%)
- Russia: $17.5 million (up 25.4%)
- Namibia: $10.9 million (up 200.7%)
- Spain: $7.1 million (up 200.2%)
- Tanzania: $5.2 million (up 827.7%)
- United States: $4.7 million (up 54.5%)
- Nigeria: $3.8 million (up 653.1%)
- France: $3.8 million (up 400.7%)
- Ivory Coast: $2.8 million (2020 data unavailable)
- Laos: $1.4 million (up 77.5%)
- Hong Kong: $1.4 million (2020 data unavailable)
Overtaking Australia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo generated the highest surplus in the international trade of tin. In turn, this positive cashflow confirms both countries’ strong competitive advantages for this specific product category.
Countries Facing Worst Trade Deficits from Tin
The following countries posted the highest negative net exports for tin during 2021. 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$1.3 billion (net export deficit up 139.4% since 2020)
- Thailand: -$312.2 million (up 104.1%)
- Malaysia: -$285.1 million (down -13.2%)
- Myanmar: -$6.3 million (reversing a $7.1 million surplus)
- Brazil: -$2.9 million (reversing a $9.1 million surplus)
- United Arab Emirates: -$2.2 million (down -65.3%)
- Poland: -$1.7 million (up 420.5%)
- Cuba: -$648,000 (up 13.3%)
- Saudi Arabia: -$283,000 (up 38.7%)
- Czech Republic: -$225,000 (up 181.3%)
- Romania: -$140,000 (up 47.4%)
- Indonesia: -$114,000 (up 44.3%)
- Belgium: -$102,000 (reversing a $161,000 surplus)
- Belarus: -$85,000 (2020 data unavailable)
- Philippines: -$59,000 (2020 data unavailable)
The People’s Republic of China incurred the highest deficit in the international trade of tin. In turn, this negative cashflow highlights strong Chinese competitive disadvantage for this specific product category but also signals opportunities for tin-supplying countries that help satisfy the powerful demand.
Tin Exporting Companies
Below are the top 10 tin-producing companies that also engage in the international trade of tin presented in descending order based on tin output. The home country for each business is shown within parenthesis.
- Yunnan Tin (China)
- Malaysia Smelting Corporation (Malaysia)
- PT Timah (Indonesia)
- Yunnan Tin Chengfeng (China)
- Minsur (Peru)
- EM Vinto (Bolivia)
- Thaisarco (Thailand)
- Guangxi China Tin (China)
- Metallo Chimique (Belgium)
- Gejiu Zi-Li (China)
Searchable List of Tin Exporting Countries in 2021
The 34 countries highlighted in the automated database below represent 100% of the value for globally exported tin during 2021.
|Rank||Exporter||Tin Exports (US$)||2020-1|
|1.||Democr. Rep. Congo||$290,408,000||+626.3%|
|28.||United Arab Emirates||$118,000||0%|
Focusing on these suppliers, the fastest gainers from 2020 to 2021 were Italy (up 11,800%), Malaysia (up 1,138%), Tanzania (up 827.7%), Nigeria (up 653.1%), then world leader the Democratic Republic of the Congo (up 626.3%).
You can change the presentation order by clicking the triangle icon at the top of the above table’s columns. An entry of 0% in the right-most column means 2020 data was unavailable.
See also Top Nickel Exporters by Country, Top Aluminum Exporters by Country, Top Stainless Steel Exporters by Country and Copper Ore Exports by Country Plus Average Prices
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on August 21, 2022
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on August 21, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 21, 2022
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on August 21, 2022
Statistica (The Statistics Portal), Leading tin producing companies worldwide in 2017. Accessed on August 21, 2022