Chile’s SQM, the world’s 2nd-most significant lithium producer, on Thursday posted fourth-quarter web financial gain far more than triple that of a 12 months earlier, just beating estimates on surging demand and tight materials for the white metallic.
A scramble for lithium — which SQM extracts from brine from South America’s sprawling salt flats — has despatched prices soaring in modern a long time as car makers glance to generate additional electrical autos (EVs) to comply with far more stringent climate rules.
SQM posted a quarterly internet profit of $1.15 billion for the 3 months to Dec. 31, 2022, edging ahead of an ordinary estimate of $1.14 billion by analysts polled by Refinitiv.
Earnings for the quarter also approximately tripled to $3.13 billion, beating an normal estimate of $2.99 billion, lifting main earnings to $1.67 billion.
Chief Govt Ricar or truckdo Ramos explained he was “properly happy with the remarkable benefits.”
Gains have been fueled by document sales volumes for lithium and its derivatives, which SQM largely ships to Asia, the company said. Some sales anticipated this calendar year ended up brought ahead in advance of an anticipated conclusion to Chinese EV subsidies, it explained.
SQM posted fourth-quarter lithium volumes up 38% year-on-12 months to 43,000 tonnes, selling at a document ordinary of $59,000 a tonne. A calendar year before, lithium offered for just $14,600 a tonne.
In a separate assertion, SQM said it prepared to devote close to $3.4 billion from 2023 to 2025, focusing on expanding its Chilean lithium capacities. The roadmap involves a $1.2 billion expenditure earmarked for this yr.
SQM said it expects to grow its lithium ability from 210,000 tonnes forecast this 12 months to 265,000 in 2025 as plants in southwestern Australia and China’s Sichuan occur on the web.
SQM sells iodine as well and it stated price ranges for the chemical applied in X-rays also hit a report in the fourth quarter, predicting better sales volumes and charges this yr as it will work to increase its capability.