I hope this fourth and final issue of the year 2007 Newsletter reaches you in fine health.
On behalf of the Association’s Management Committee and Secretariat, I like to wish you all Selamat Hari Raya, Happy Deepavali, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
2007 has been a challenging year for us all. I am glad to note that although the electrical and electronic (E & E) sector’s performance during the first half of the year was sluggish due to softer external demand, the month of August had shown a noticeable improvement as demand and sales began to pick-up. The E & E sector’s recovery would certainly augurs well for our related industries. It is my fervent hope that this positive momentum will continue throughout the rest of the year and the years ahead.
I also wish to share here with you a positive report released by the ITRI Ltd. in December 2007 containing new data on global tin use by market sectors in 2006 together with information on use trends from 2004-2007. This study is based not only on national and international statistics from official agencies, but also information gathered from industry experts and direct survey results from downstream tin users.
The key conclusions from this ITRI report state that;
- Solders were found to account for around 52% of global tin consumption in 2006, an increase from a 50% share in the previous year. - Asian companies account for almost 80% of tin used in solders, with China alone representing some 55% of world solder business.
- Tinplate production continued to grow in China and remains the largest market for the metal in Europe, while tin chemicals are very important in some large national markets such as the USA and Germany.
- Global tin usage in all main applications other than solders has been roughly stable since 2004 despite recent tin price increases.
Next year, Malaysia's economy is anticipated to strengthen further to record a GDP growth of 6% - 6.5%, where positive contribution is envisaged from all sectors. Domestic demand is expected to be the main driver of the economy while external demand is only expected to pick-up in the second half of 2008.
With such positive outlook, I like to wish everyone a great and prospherous year ahead. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank all Association members and the Secretariat staff for their support given me during the year 2007.