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Tin producer MSC delays lifting force majeure to Dec 20

LONDON : The world's third largest tin producer, Malaysia Smelting Corp (MSC), has told customers it has delayed a plan to lift a force majeure during which its operations were suspended, until Dec. 20, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

Previously MSC had told its customers the force majeure would be lifted on Nov. 30

MSC declared force majeure on June 7 due to coronavirus-related disruption to production. Companies sometimes declare a force majeure when circumstances beyond their control disrupt output.

The letter, dated Dec. 16, said the recent improvement in the COVID-19 situation in Malaysia meant MSC could plan to return to normal operations, but that "it will take a while to return to pre-pandemic operations levels".

In response to a request for comment, MSC said it had nothing further to add.

Its operations since the pandemic started have been impaired by restrictions on staffing numbers and by technical problems at its new smelter.

The company accounted for about 7per cent of global supplies estimated at around 330,000 tonnes last year. It produced 22,400 tonnes last year, International Tin Association figures showed.

Shortages of tin this year, partly due to reduced supplies from MSC, propelled tin prices on the London Metal Exchange to a record high of US$40,680 a tonne in November, a rise of nearly 90per cent since the start of the year.

(Reporting by Pratima Desai; editing by Kirsten Donovan)

Source: Reuters

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