Industrial production up 1.8% in January thanks to manufactures

Chile Industrial Production Index (IPI) registered a growth of 1.8% in January 2020 compared to the same month of the previous year. This was mainly due to the positive impact of the manufacturing sector whose production grew 3.4%, according to data from the National Statistics Institute. The manufacture of substances and chemical products registered a year-to-year increase of 27.4% and mining production of 1%, thanks to a 22.7% jump in non-metallic mining.

Renewables share in Chile drops to 20.4% in January

Non-conventional renewable energy (NCRE) sources accounted for 20.4% of Chile’s gross electricity production in January, according to the latest report by the Chilean national energy commission (CNE). NCRE power plants generated 1,385 GWh over the second summer month, down by 10.6% from December when the renewables share arrived at 22.8%. In January 2019, the NCRE share was 18.6% on 1,214 GWh.

Economic outlook “quite favourable” despite unrest, finance minister

Chile's economic outlook is "quite favourable" despite months of political unrest in the country, Finance Minister Ignacio Briones told foreign correspondents in Santiago. "We should stress that we have a scenario of positive growth," Briones said. The government forecasts a 1.3% growth for 2020, "relatively higher" than the central bank projection of 1%, noted Briones. Prior to the outbreak of anti-government protests in mid-October, a 3.3% expansion in gross domestic product (GDP) was forecast.

Enel plans new 500MW bifacial solar project in Atacama

Chile’s green regulator SEA is to consider Enel’s proposals for a 498MW new PV pipeline in the Atacama Desert region of Antofagasta, according to recently submitted plans. Enel wants to deploy a first 317MW plant known as the Taltal PV project, with total investment pegged at around $350 million. In addition, Enel is proposing to add yet another PV installation to its Lalackama complex, also in the commune of Taltal by Atacama’s Pacific Ocean coastline.

Mall Plaza utility plummets in Q4 due to social unrest

Chile's Mall Plaza recorded a 15% drop in revenues (CL$72.3 billion), and a 21% increase in sales costs (CL$25 billion) in Q4 2019. Administrative and sales expenses jumped up to 39%. Revenue decline in its 11 malls is explained “mainly by effects associated with events after October 18 in Chile,” said the company operated by Falabella, one of the largest retail companies in Latin America.

Losses from banking operational risk jumped 88% amid social crisis

Chile's banking reported net losses due to operational risk events in 2019 worth CL$82 billion ($101 million), which means an increase of 88% compared to the previous year and its highest level since there is registration, according to the Commission for the Financial Market (CMF). BancoEstado led the expenses of this item (CL$7bn), followed by Santander (CL$ 4bn), and Banco de Chile (CL$ 2bn).

Acciona to supply 100% renewable power to salt producer K+S Chile

Spain’s Acciona SA will supply 100% renewable power to salt producer K+S Chile SA on the basis of a recently signed long-term power purchase agreement (PPA), covering industrial operations and facilities, including a salt mine, milling, processing and packaging plants and shipping ports. Thanks to the agreement, K+S, a unit of German salt producer and potash supplier K+S AG, will be able to avoid emissions of around 6,400 tonnes of CO2 each year for an undisclosed period.

Finance minister sees economic impact of coronavirus as ‘limited’

“At this stage we don’t see a major impact on the Chilean economy; I think the effects of this coronavirus pandemic are still limited,” finance minister, Ignacio Briones told foreign journalists in Santiago. Chilean exporters to China - chief among them fruit growers, paper firms and miners - had reported delays and logistical problems but no interruption in orders, Briones said. Chile sends around 30% of its exports to China and 50% of its copper.

Chile moves back 11 places in mining investment attractiveness ranking

The "Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2019" by the Fraser Institute scores Chile in 17th place of attractive centres for investment, according to the 2,400 exploration, development and other mining activities companies that participated in the poll. This means a 11 step-setback in relation to the sixth position it held the previous year and its worst location since 2016. Despite, Chile retains the first position in Latin America, while Peru was displaced from second place by the Argentine jurisdiction of San Juan.

Insurance cost up to 60% after social outbreak – ca. $2.5bn insured losses

The price of insurance over physical damage to property in Chile increased 20%, while policies covering vandalism damage jumped 40% since the October social outbreak, according to Lionel Soffia, president of Gallagher for Latin America. The days of violence would have caused insured losses of between $ 2 billion and $ 2.5 billion, according to estimates by Aon, the country's largest insurance and reinsurance broker, measured by the volume of intermediated premium.