SQM reports lower lithium sales



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In the first nine months of the year, it posted profits of US $ 331 million, representing an increase of 4.7% over the same period last year.

It was not the best quarter for SQM. And the non-metallic miner linked to Julio Ponce Lerou registered a drop in lithium sales due to the delay of one of its investments, a situation that impacted the company's results from July to September.

As reported by the company, lithium sales in the third quarter reached 9.3 thousand tons, which represents approximately 27% less than that obtained in the same period last year. As a result, lithium sales between July and September reached $ 152.8 million, 9% less than in 2017.

"During 2017, we announced a significant lithium expansion near Antofagasta, which would allow us to increase our capacity by almost 50%, which involved a complete renovation of our existing plant in a short period of time and low investment.
We previously announced that completely revamped factory start-up was more challenging than expected, which affected our ability to produce high quality lithium during the third quarter, affecting our sales, "said SQM general manager Patricio de Solminihac.

The manager also stated that "we are working diligently to resolve these issues as soon as possible," adding that the impact will be relaxed by the first quarter of 2019.

"Sales volume in 2018 could be around 45,000 tonnes," Solminihac said.

Anyway, the company is optimistic considering that they continue to see a strong lithium market, projecting that demand will grow more than 25% this year.

"Due to the above, prices in the lithium market remain strong, our average prices during the third quarter remained relatively stable compared to the second quarter, we believe that our prices for the fourth quarter will remain similar to those of the third quarter. .

Results

Despite the numbers reported in the lithium business, the company reported a profit of $ 331 million in the first nine months of the year, an increase of 4.7% over the same period last year. On the other hand, sales in the period reached $ 1,700 million, an increase of 7.4%.

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