There is good news, finally, on the pricing of solder.
Changes in the global demand for tin during the spring of 2022 caused a rapid turnaround in tin pricing. Tin is the main element in solder, as well as a coating for steel and is processed into industrial chemicals.
Tin pricing peaked in March of 2022 at nearly three times higher than its June 2020 cost. Since March, however, global tin pricing has reversed, declining by about 57%.
It is interesting to note though that a pound of raw tin still costs about three times more than a pound of copper. The reason for this disparity is that tin deposits found in the earth’s crust are much smaller compared to copper, so mine output tonnage is drastically lower. While copper pricing is also down about 30% from its high point, tin at its high point was five times the cost of copper.
There still remains a significant quantity of higher-cost metal in solder fabricators and distributors inventory. As this material is consumed and replaced by newer, lower-cost tin units, fabricated solder products will continue to drop in price.
For manufacturers, assemblers & contractors that use solder as a production material, the good news is that price relief is on the way.