Sumitomo Chemical has successfully completed the acquisition of four South American subsidiaries in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Colombia, owned by group companies of Nufarm, a leading Australian agricultural chemical company, through Sumitomo Chemical’s wholly-owned subsidiaries in the region (Sumitomo Chemical Brazil for the Brazilian subsidiary and Sumitomo Chemical Chile for the others).
Two agreements that would have been finalised by July for Chilean lithium projects have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, Chilean authorities projected an increase in production of lithium carbonate from the current 96,000t/y to 232,000t/y by 2027.
Chile’s wheat and corn production are expected to decrease due to limitations imposed by droughts. Chile’s marketing year 2020-21 wheat production is forecast to decrease 2.4%, to 1.28 million tonnes. Chile’s corn is also expected to be affected negatively by the drought, sinking its 2020-21 marketing year production by 3% to 837,000 tonnes.
Chilean pension funds closed March with real losses of between 16.49% and 2.54% on their various asset classes. Funds A and B registered falls of 16.49% and 13.53% respectively. Fund C fell 10.20%, fund D lost 7.22% and fund E recorded a fall of 2.54%.
The Santiago Stock Exchange rose by 4.03% and climbed to 3,559 points, with this result the IPSA, which groups the 30 main companies in the country, reached its highest level since March 13.
Banco de Chile received in less than 24 hours 42,282 requests for rescheduling of mortgages or consumer credit loans. The applications are within the framework of the initiatives announced by the private banks for their clients due to the contingency of the Coronavirus.
According to information sourced by Wines of Chile, the country’s wine industry has been able to harvest “under normal conditions” while production facilities are allowed to operate as usual, but with specific healthcare measures in place. Agriculture was identified as a “critical sector” for the country and industry workers have been issued with special permits that give them the right to move around Chile and attend their workplace.
Chile’s economic activity grew 2.7% in February from a year ago, reported the Central Bank. The bank’s IMACEC economic activity index rose 0.6% from the previous month, as the country bounced back from five months of mass protests. Mining activity increased 2.2% from the previous month while non-mining activity increased 0.4%, driven by growth in the manufacturing and construction sectors.
In March, average copper prices fell to their lowest point since July 2016 as Covid-19 continued to rattle commodity markets. On average, prices for the red metal logged USD 5,183 per ton (equivalent to USD 2.35 per pound), down from February’s average price of USD 5,688 per ton (equivalent to USD 2.58 per ton). Meanwhile, prices were 19.5% lower than in the same month of 2019.
The National Petroleum Company (Enap) announced an “additional exceptional reduction for 93 and 97 octane gasoline”. Enap stated that “the import parity price for this week results in a drop in the price of 93 gasoline from $25.3 per liter,” while 97-octane gasoline will decrease by $18.5 per liter. Diesel will fall $6.0 per liter and liquefied gas for vehicle use will fall $6.1 per liter.