Latest situation in Chile September 2023

According to the regular report of economy (September 2023) published by the embassy of Japan in Chile, the latest situation of the country can be summarized as below.:

  • Lithium

A local newspaper reported a new discovery of metallic lithium deposit derived from a paleo volcano in the United States (on the border between Nevada and Oregon), and it can be observed that the world’s attention to lithium continuously increases. Meanwhile, a concern about Chile’s position in the lithium competition is noticed as well.
While lithium is expected to be scarce globally until 2026, Chile is taking longer to expand its production capacity compared to Argentina, Australia, and China, perhaps due to the influence of the current government.
For instance, production in 2026 is expected to be 344,000 tons in China, and 337,000 tons in Chile. And it’s forecasted that Argentina will overtake Chile and their production capacity will reach 350,000 tons in 2030.
The future outlook for the lithium market is that oversupply is expected as new supply begins in 2026, but its demand is expected to increase from 2028 onwards, so the oversupply is expected to subside.

  • Economics

The economic activity index in August recorded -0.9%. In the mining section recorded 1.7%.
The mining production index in the same month was 0.2%, and copper production rose by 2.7%.
The export amount in September was 7.34 billion dollars (-6.5%), of which mining products raised 4.53 billion dollars (-1.0%, 61.7% of the total), of which copper raised 3.86 billion dollars (6.6%, 85.2% of the total mining export value).
On the other hand, import value in the same month was 6.37 billion dollars (-20.6%), and the trade balance was a surplus of $980 million.
*Percentages from the same month of the previous year

The amount of trade with China, Japan, and South Korea (August) resulted as below:

With China: exportation 2.94 billion (1.4%), importation 1.90 billion (-15.4%), total amount of trade 4.84 billion (-5.9%)
With Japan: exportation 550 million (-14.4%), importation 180 million (7.5%), total amount of trade 730 million (-10.0%)
With South Korea: exportation 590 million (13.1%), importation 100 million (-25.9%), total amount of trade 690 million (4.9%)
*Dollars, comparing to the same month of the previous year

Reference: The regular report of economy (September 2023), from the Embassy of Japan in Chile, Department of Economy.