What is Tin?
Tin is a malleable, ductile and highly crystalline silvery-white metal. Tin melts at a low temperature of about 232 °C (450 °F), which is further reduced to 177.3 °C (351.1 °F) for 11 nm particles. Tin is produced by carbothermic reduction of the oxide ore with carbon or coke.
Uses of Tin
Tin adheres extremely well to iron and is used for coating lead or zinc to steel, this aids in the prevent corrosion. Tin-plated steel cylinders are used for food preservation which makes up a large part of the market for metallic tin. Most metal pipes in a pipe organ are made of varying amounts of a tin/lead alloy, with 50%/50% being the most common equation.
Some tin alloys include:
- Bell metal
- Babbitt metal
- Die casting alloy
- Phosphor bronze
- Soft solder
- White metal
Risks of Tin
Like any futures contract, there is always the possibility that the underlying asset i.e. tin will move in the opposite direction to which you hold your contract. For example: you have taken a long position (expecting the price of tin to rise), if this were to happen and the tin fell in price, your long position in tin will decrease in value.
With any commodity, supply and demand will affect the price dramatically if there is a change, this risk is one that should be monitored on a regular basis and adjusted to suit your risk parameters.
Mining of metals has an inherent risk with the level of costs associated with extracting the product from the earth. This can include, but not limited to: the cost of oil to fuel machinery, cost of labour or new tax regulations being implemented.