A fire at an agar plant in Southern Chile occurred on Sunday August 15. The fire was severe and destroyed the entire factory and stocks of Proagar in Llanquihue, Puerto Montt. Proagar is (was) a well established but relatively small producer of agar with a capacity of 300-400 tonnes. The total world market of agar is estimated at roughly 10,000 tonnes. It will be at least a year before the plant is rebuilt and production resumed. That is if and when the decision to rebuild is taken. This event, although severe, will have little impact on the global agar market. Proagar accounted for only 3-4% of world production.
Dennis Seisun at IMR had already identified, before this event, a rising trend in agar prices related to raw material situation worldwide. This trend cannot and should not, be attributed to the sad event at Proagar in S. Chile