Chile finance commission rejects royalty bill

The finance commission of Chile’s lower house has rejected a bill looking to increase mining royalties, by seven votes to five. The bill, which aims to set a royalty of 3% ad valorem for copper and lithium, and which received a favourable reading by the mining commission in March 2020, will be returned to the Chamber of Deputies. Industry body, Sonami, believes no additions should be made to the government take given the actual system includes a mechanism for the government to receive higher rents during times of higher prices.

EnfraGen acquired solar projects that will generate 90 MW

EnfraGen LLC, a developer, owner and operator of grid stability and renewable energy infrastructure businesses in Latin America announced that it has purchased several solar projects and plants in Chile. The company, through its division Fontus Renewables, acquired ten ready-to-build solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, which will have around 90 MW of AC power once up and running.

Cost of sea freight increased 196%, affecting the metals sector

Since the pandemic began, the cost of maritime freight has increased by an average of 196%, according to ASIMET president Dante Arrigoni. The industry leader pointed out that this is one of the difficulties that the metal-mechanic metallurgical sector is facing to achieve its reactivation. In addition to the rise in shipping rates, the sector has been impacted by supplier stock-outs, a situation that affects around 85% of members, according to a recent survey.

Chile’s GDP remains stable in Q4 2020, shrinks 5.8% over year

Chile's gross domestic product remained stable year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2020, the central bank said, as the economy showed signs of recovery after months of coronavirus-induced crisis. Fourth-quarter GDP shot up 6.8% versus the third quarter, the bank said in a report. Including the quarterly result, the economy contracted by 5.8% overall in 2020, the bank said, as the service sector and construction fell off sharply amid the pandemic, alongside household consumption and investment.

Chile’s exports grew 6.9% while imports fell 15.3% in 2020

Chilean exports reached $73.485 billion in 2020, registering a 6.9% increase from the previous year, reflecting higher prices (3.8%) and volumes (3.0%). By component, the result was driven by mining exports, while agricultural and industrial shipments fell. Imports of goods totalled $59.226 billion, down 15.3% from the previous year, explained by lower volumes (-10.3 %) and prices (-5.5 %).