In the first nine months of the year, the company reported a profit of USD 331 million, up 4.7 percent year on year.
It wasn't the best quarter for the SQM. And Julio Ponce Lerou, a non-metallic mining company, reported lower sales of lithium due to a delay in one of its investments. This situation affected the results of the company in July-September period.
As reported by the company, sales of lithium in the third quarter reached 9.300 tons, which is about 27% less than the same period last year. Meanwhile, sales of lithium between July and September amounted to US $ 152.8 million, down 9% compared to 2017.
Sağla Throughout 2017, we announced that there was an important lithium expansion around Antofagasta, which would allow us to increase our capacity by almost 50%.
The previously announced plant was harder than expected to come into operation, which affected our ability to produce high-quality lithium in the third quarter and affected our sales, "said SQM general manager Patricio Solminihac
"We are working diligently to solve these problems as soon as possible," he said, adding that the effect will be relaxed until the first quarter of 2019.
"The volume of sales in 2018 could be about 45,000 tons," Solminihac said.
Given that the company continues to see a strong market for lithium, demand is expected to grow above 25 percent this year.
"Depending on the above, prices in the lithium market are strong, and our average prices in the third quarter are relatively stable compared to the second quarter, and we believe that our prices will be similar to the third quarter," commented the manager.
Despite the figures reported in the lithium business, the company reported a profit of US $ 331 million in the first nine months of the year, up 4.7 percent year on year. On the other hand, sales increased by 7.4% to US $ 1.700 million.