Malaysia Smelting Corp's tin output to remain firm despite global cuts - CEO

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Malaysia Smelting Corp Berhad, the world’s third-largest refined tin producer, does not expect its output to fall this year even though the top two have flagged production cuts, its chief executive said.

Earlier this month, producers including the world’s top two - China’s Yunnan Tin and Indonesia’s PT Timah - said they would reduce production by around 30,000 tonnes this year - or about 8 percent of global supply - due to a recent slump in the metal’s price.

Malaysia Smelting’s Chief Executive Patrick Yong said the production slowdown in China and Indonesia would not hurt the company’s accessibility to ore as the two countries do not export tin ore to third party smelters.

“As a matter of fact, a few new mines will be coming on line in 2020, causing an increase of ore available to tin smelters like MSC,” Yong told Reuters in an emailed statement.

Ore production from the company’s own mines is expected to increase slightly this year, he said.

Malaysia Smelting’s refined tin production last year was 27,085 tonnes, according to its annual report.

Prices of tin, used in soldering and lead-acid batteries, have fallen this year due mainly to weak demand in China as its economy slowed. Reduced availability of tin ore has also led to production cuts by smelters.

Yong said some high-cost miners had been reducing production and artisanal miners had stopped work due to the lower prices.

“This will inevitably cause a shortage and the natural supply and demand effect will take place, driving up tin price,” he said. (Reporting by Emily Chow; Writing by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Mark Potter)