SQM CEO Ramos revealed that SQM’s expects to produce 10,000 t more than covered by sales forecasts. This additional volume will go to inventories. In other words, their price expectations were higher than the market is willing to pay. Inventory volume will be up to three months of sales.

Ramos stated, that stockpiling is not driven by the goal of sustaining high prices, but rather to generate greater flexibility for its customers and recover inventories to deal with the expansions of their plants.

Current capacity is 70,000 t (which means utilisation of just 70%), which will be expanded to 120,000 t in 2020, and the ultimate goal is 180,000t, which is from my perspective out of reality in the next couple of years. He endorsed commitment of the Mt. Holland project in Australia.

Chinese spot prices for battery-grade lithium carbonate have fallen drastically, and this has also impacted SQM's price premium. Therefore, SQM was not selling lithium products into China (like Livent is doing, because they export Chinese-produced LiOH). 

My understanding is, that this strategy is at risk, because of loosing market share to Chinese domestic producers. SQM need to show, that paying a price premium for high quality products has its advantages. That means, they have constantly to work on improving their products and processes, as well as providing best services to their customers.