Chile's SQM approved a million-dollar investment to exploit lithium in Australia. The company's investment in the project between 2021 and 2025 is expected to reach $700 million. In a document sent to the CMF, SQM states that a feasibility study confirms an initial project production capacity of 50,000 metric tonnes of battery-grade lithium hydroxide.
The price index of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) increased by 4.3% in January. This index includes cereals, vegetable oils, dairy products, meat and sugar. This is the highest level since July 2014. For Chile, the consumer index price for food in January rose 1.2% compared to December, and by 7.8% on an annual basis.
According to the latest Crop Report of the Chilean Blueberry Committee-ASOEX, export volumes decreased during week 5 of 2021. Export volumes reached 5,996 tons. The reason for the decrease is due to the rain in week 4. However, the report highlights that shipments in week 5 were higher than in the same period in 2020, and that the accumulated export volume is 4.9% higher than in the 2019/20 campaign. North America has received 51% of the volume exported, Europe 31% and the Far East 11%.
According to Vanguard, the total Chilean export forecast has been reduced by around a quarter following heavy and unseasonal rains. Expectations are now for exports of 65 million boxes with mid-season varieties most heavily damaged. As of Febuary 1st, Chile has shipped 4.7m boxes of table grapes, down 39% from last season. The development comes during the first season in years in which Chile was expecting a year-on-year increase in its total grape crop.