In the first nine months of the year, it posted a profit of 331 million dollars, 4.7% more than in the same period of the previous year.
It was not the fourth quarter of the SQM. The non-metal mining company, linked to Julio Ponce Lerou, is lighter sales, due to investment delay, as a result of the company's results in July-September.
As the company reported, lithium sales were 9.300 tonnes in the third quarter, 27% less than in the same period last year. Thus, lithium sales in July and September reached US $ 152.8 million, 9% less than in 2017.
"In 2017, we announced a significant expansion of lithium in Antofagasta, which means that we can increase our capacity almost 50%, thus bringing together our entire installation restoration and a short investment in a short time.
As previously announced, a completely renovated plant has been launched, it has been more challenging than expected, in the third quarter that caused the production of high-quality lithium due to our sales, "said Patricio Solrimha, CEO of SQM.
The director also said: "We are working hard to solve problems as soon as possible", to be a negative impact in the first quarter of 2019.
"The volume of sales could be around 45,000 tonnes in 2018," said Solminihace.
However, the company is optimistic in view of the continued existence of the lithium market, predicting that this demand has grown by more than 25% this year.
"As a result, the lithium market prices are still strong, in the third quarter, our average prices have been quite stable with respect to the second quarter, we believe that prices for the fourth quarter are similar to the third quarter," commented the manager.
Although the numbers in the lithium business, in the first nine months of the year, reported a profit of 331 million dollars, 4.7% more than in the same period of the previous year. On the other hand, sales in this period amounted to $ 1.7 billion, up 7.4%.