The Ministry of Mines of Chile (the Client), with funding from the Chilean Ministry of Economy, engaged CRU to help identify key export opportunities and potential policy support measures as part of an overarching plan develop the sector and promote stronger economic linkages between the domestic mining sector and the wider economy.
Specifically, CRU researched the following key issues and questions:
Our research combined detailed market intelligence gathering in the domestic METS sector combined with an appraisal of the outlook for international export demand, profitability and the wider competitive environment.
As part of our domestic qualitative research programme, CRU developed a database of over 4,000 suppliers across 36 identified METS segments. These segments were subsequently filtered down to eight based on an assessment of their expected profitability and forecast demand growth.
CRU undertook an extensive programme of telephone and face to face interviews to understand the key firm level context in each of these key segments, including direct evidence on opportunities and impediments to improved export performance.
This domestic market intelligence was complemented by a rigorous analysis of the international market for METS sector goods and services, drawing on CRUs specialist expertise in upstream sector and project analysis to identify priority export markets.
We subsequently undertook more detailed research to identify potentially high performing METS market segments with our key target countries, together with an assessment of the potential import requirements for these products and services.
Source: CRU, Chilean customs
Our policy recommendations were informed by a series of case studies drawn from internationally leading METS sector, which assessed sector composition and performance, key comparative advantages and competitive positioning, together with a detailed picture on the institutional and policy support available to individual segments.
Our research was a key input into the design of the national export strategy for the mining sector. We recommended strategic focus on six sub-segment, including, for example, plant and grinding equipment supplies. These offered robust growth and value generation opportunities, evidenced by research in comparative advantages of the domestic firm base and an understanding of a favourable international market environment.
CRU also provided the authorities with detailed policy guidance on the most appropriate mix of policy support based on firm-level research into the key barriers to improved export performance, including access to skills and technology.
The mounting risk that UC Rusal smelters will close in the coming months has dropped as the US Treasury permits new 2019 sales contracts.