In the first nine months of this year reported profits of US $ 331 million, which was a 4.7% increase compared to the same period last year.
That's not the best quarter for SQM. And that is a non-metal mining company associated with Julio Ponce Lerou reporting lithium sales were lower due to a delay in one of its investments, a situation that affected the company's results in the July-September period.
As reported by the company, lithium sales in the third quarter reached 9,300 tons, which is about 27% lower than what was achieved in the same period last year. With this, lithium sales between July and September reached US $ 152.8 million, 9% lower than 2017.
"During 2017, we announced a significant lithium expansion near Antofagasta, which will enable us to increase our capacity by almost 50%, which involves a total renovation of our existing plants in a short time and low investment.
We announced earlier, the start-up of the renovated factories was entirely more challenging than expected, which has affected our ability to produce high-quality lithium during the third quarter, affecting our sales, "said SQM general manager Patricio from Solminihac.
The manager also pointed out that "we are working diligently to solve this problem as soon as possible," adding that the impact will relax until the first quarter of 2019.
"The sales volume in 2018 can be around 45,000 tons," de Solminihac said.
The bottom line from companies is optimistic considering they continue to see a strong market for lithium, projecting that demand will grow by more than 25% this year.
"Because of 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 the same as the third quarter." Commented the manager.
Despite the figures reported in the lithium business, companies in the first nine months of this year reported profits of US $ 331 million, which was a 4.7% increase over the same period last year. On the other hand, sales in that period reached US $ 1,700 million, an increase of 7.4%.