SQM Reports Earnings for 2009

By Sqm, PRNE
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

SANTIAGO, Chile, February 26, 2010 - Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) (NYSE: SQM; Santiago Stock
Exchange: SQM-B, SQM-A) reported today earnings for the year 2009 of US$327.1
(US$1.24 per ADR), a decrease of 34.8% with respect to 2008, when
earnings totaled US$501.4 million (US$1.91 per ADR). Operating income reached
US$441.9 million (30.8% of revenues), 22.4% lower than the US$632.2 million
(35.6% of revenues) recorded the previous year. Revenues for 2009 totaled
US$1,436.9 million, representing a decrease of 16.0% over the US$1,774.1
reported in 2008.

Fourth quarter earnings were US$75.4 million (US$0.29 per ADR) compared
to the fourth quarter 2008 figure of US$120.3 million (US$0.46 per ADR).
Operating income for the fourth quarter reached US$99.9 million, lower than
the US$150.8 million recorded for the same period of 2008. Revenues totaled
US$387.7 million, compared to the fourth quarter 2008 revenues of US$397.9

Patricio Contesse, SQM's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "The impact of
the economic downturn took a toll on volumes in our Specialty Plant
Nutrition, Iodine and Lithium business lines. Additionally, average 2009
prices in our fertilizer and lithium businesses were lower than those
recorded during 2008. The Company did, however, benefit from higher average
iodine prices and significantly higher potash volumes. While the overall
results achieved in 2009 were lower than in 2008, net income and revenues
recorded for 2009 were the second highest in Company history. In relative
terms, SQM also outperformed counterparts in its main businesses and in
particular those in the fertilizer industry."

He continued, "Looking forward, we expect 2010 to be a transition year
with higher volumes across all of our business lines, with lower average
prices in our fertilizer and lithium businesses. The increase in production
and sales of potash will continue to be an important driver for SQM's growth
in 2010 as it was during 2009. Expansion plans for potash have moved forward
according to plan, and for this year we are expecting potassium chloride
production to be slightly higher than 1.4 million metric tons compared to the
approximately 1.1 million metric tons (potassium chloride and potassium
sulfate) produced in 2009. Our future investment plans are in line with this
trend, and our total production should reach approximately 1.8 million metric
tons during 2012."

Mr. Contesse added, "Under current market conditions it is difficult to
predict results for 2010. Although we anticipate that it is likely that
potassium-related fertilizer prices will recover at the end of this year,
average prices for 2010 should be lower than those recorded in 2009. Lower
prices will be partially offset by higher volumes in all of our business
lines, and in particular a significant increase in potash volumes.

Mr. Contesse concluded, "We are well positioned to react quickly to
market changes in order to rapidly satisfy our customers' needs. We are
convinced that the long term drivers are in place in all of our business
lines and that the products that we supply will help the world face today's
modern challenges: proper potash application will help to improve yields to
feed a growing population; our SPN products can be used in modern
agricultural techniques that maximize the efficiency of water and soil; our
industrial nitrates store energy for continuous, clean electricity
production; lithium based technology has made great strides as an efficient
means to store and use energy in transportation systems; and new agrochemical
applications for iodine will allow farmers to protect both their crops and
the environment. I believe that these factors are stronger than ever and will
propel the expected future growth of SQM in the coming years."

For the complete version of this press release, please visit our Web
site: www.sqm.com.

SQM is an integrated producer and distributor of specialty plant
nutrients, iodine and lithium. Its products are based on the development of
high quality natural resources that allow the Company to be leader in costs,
supported by a specialized international network with sales in over 100
countries. SQM's development strategy aims to maintain and strengthen the
Company's world leadership in its three core businesses: Specialty Plant
Nutrition, Iodine and Lithium.

    For further information, contact:
    Patricio Vargas, 56-2-4252485 / patricio.vargas@sqm.com
    Mary Laverty, +56-2-4252074 / mary.laverty@sqm.com

    For media inquiries, contact:
    Fernanda Guerra, +56-2-4252027 / fernanda.guerra@sqm.com

Statements in this press release concerning the Company's business
outlook, future economic performances, anticipated profitability, revenues,
expenses, or other financial items, anticipated cost synergies and product or
service line growth, together with other statements that are not historical
facts, are "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined under Federal
Securities Laws.

Any forward-looking statements are estimates, reflecting the best
judgment of SQM based on currently available information and involve a number
of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to
differ materially from those stated in such statements. Risks, uncertainties,
and factors that could affect the accuracy of such forward-looking statements
are identified in the public filing made with the Securities and Exchange
Commission, and forward-looking statements should be considered in light of
those factors.

Patricio Vargas, +56-2-425-2485, patricio.vargas at sqm.com, Mary Laverty, +56-2-425-2074, mary.laverty at sqm.com, or Fernanda Guerra, +56-2-425-2027, fernanda.guerra at sqm.com, all of SQM

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