Latin America's exports recorded a 13% drop in value in 2020, their worst record in more than a decade, due to the effects of COVID-19. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), imports fell by 20%. However, the contraction is less than the projected 23% at the beginning of August 2020.
A transcritical CO2 (R744) installation that went live last July for Comersur, a fresh and frozen food processing company in Santiago, Chile, has resulted in $194,000 a year in electrical energy savings. It is also is projected to save $20,000 in natural gas used for heating water.
According to the Central Bank's Survey of Financial Operators, traders expect the Central Bank to keep the MPR at its technical minimum (0.5%) for 24 months, then to raise it to 1.25% in January 2023. The Consumer Price Index is expected to be 0.47% in January, which is higher than the previous survey projection (0.3%). For February, the CPI is expected to stay at 0.3% and 0.4% in March.
Sales of the home care industry increased in Chile by 24.1% in five years, according to data from Euromonitor International. In 2015 sales totalled $719.9 million, in 2020 they increased to $884.5 million. This growth is higher than that experienced by sales in Colombia and Peru during the same period, 7.7% and 13.2%, respectively.
Sernac received 283,615 complaints in 2020 for problems related to e-commerce, which represented an increase of 401% compared to 56,566 cases in 2019. 129,479 claims, equivalent to 45.62%, were attributed to delays in delivery.
Brazil’s largest Bitcoin exchange, Mercado Bitcoin, has announced plans to expand across Latin America. Chile, Mexico and Argentina are among the jurisdictions it will expand into first. Chile is the fifth-largest Latin American country by peer-to-peer Bitcoin trade volume. The strong P2P trade volume suggest there may be significant demand from local traders that is not met by centralized platforms.
Nano One Materials Corp and Associated Universities Inc (AUI) proposed to make nickel-rich cathodes using Chilean lithium carbonate. This proposal was announced as the winning bid by the Corporación de Fomento de la Producción de Chile (CORFO) Council. Now, it has been selected by the Chilean Clean Technology Institute to take its patented One Pot cathode materials production process to Chile.
In order to make permitting more accessible, the Chilean Ministry of Energy made an amendment to the regulation of Law 19.657, on geothermal energy concessions. The law establishes that the request for a geothermal concession can be made through a web platform from May 2021.
The Chamber of Deputies passed Fogape 2.0 into law. Fogape 2.0 aims to expand state-guaranteed loans to SMEs amid the devastation caused by the pandemic. One of the changes made by the senate include that the rate to be charged by the bank on an annual basis cannot be higher than the MPR plus 0.6% per month. This translates into a maximum of TPM+7.2% per year.
More than 2.1 million households applied for the COVID Emergency Family Income (IFE) and the COVID Bonus during January 8th-18th. According to the government, a total of 2,108,859 applications had been received, leading the Metropolitan Region with 1,001,102 applications, followed by Biobío (280,562); La Araucanía (164,255); Los Lagos (159,428); Los Ríos (82,646) and Valparaíso (79,266).