"Complex tax and labour legislation, together with Brazil´s large geographic span make the distribution space a very special one when compared to other markets."

Carlos Henrique Lemos Dantas

CEO, POCHTECA COREMAL BRAZIL

October 06, 2023

Could you provide an overview of Pochteca Coremal’s expertise and capabilities in Brazil? How important is Brazil as a market for Pochteca?

Pochteca Coremal has extensive coverage in Brazil, serving more than 4,000 customers through branches in Recife, Fortaleza, Salvador, Sao Paolo, Santa Catarina and Porto Alegre. We provide customers in more than 40 industrial segments with technical support, blending and special packaging services as well as on time deliveries with our own transportation fleet. Brazil is Pochteca´s second largest operation and is strategically important for us because it is the largest chemical distribution market in Latin America and growing at higher than average GDP rates.

What has been Coremal's experience since joining Pochteca in 2013?

Coremal, which was founded in 1952 in Recife, had been growing steadily for many years. In the early 2000´s we got to know Pochteca´s leadership team quite well. Besides becoming friends, we identified significant potential synergies and common values between our companies, even though Coremal was family run and Pochteca was already a public company. Our experience has been very positive, complementing our product, supplier, and customer portfolio, as well as generating synergies in IT, sourcing, HR and commercial processes.

How has the integration of Ixom´s Latam Division bolstered Pochteca’s footprint in Latin America?

With Ixom Latam´s incorporation to Pochteca we increased our footprint to 10 countries in Latin America. Brazil´s proximity to Chile and Argentina has presented our company with growth opportunities and synergies in sourcing and commercial initiatives. Coremal´s long term relationships with key Brazilian suppliers is resulting in distribution opportunities in the other South American countries where Pochteca is now present. We are also exchanging and replicating best practices and business units between the various countries and developing a unique and exciting Latin American culture in the group.

What are the main sectors that Pochteca serves in Brazil?

Coremal Pochteca´s traditional segments in Brazil were paints and coatings, home and personal care (HPC), oil & gas, chemicals and petrochemicals, textiles and lubricants. Since incorporating to Pochteca in 2013, we started introducing other business units such as food and inorganic chemicals. Since Ixom Latam´s incorporation we are growing in mining, construction, coolants and water treatment specialties. We have also recently started a new division dedicated to base oils and agricultural products.

The segments that continue to perform well in today´s market are HPC, food, agriculture and specialties.

What are the main trends shaping the distribution market in the region? 

Consolidation, regionalization, digitalization, sustainability, value added distribution capabilities and need for economies of scale are shaping Brazil´s distribution business. Complex tax and labour legislation, together with Brazil´s large geographic span make the distribution space a very special one when compared to other markets. Pochteca´s world class standards of operation together with the understanding of local idiosyncrasies have positioned our company very well to deal with a complex environment and thrive despite local challenges. Even though Brazil is relatively far from North America, the “friendshoring” trend is offering significant opportunities for our export segments in agriculture, chemicals and manufactured goods, which represents an interesting growth opportunity for Pochteca Coremal. We are PRODIR (equivalent to Responsible Distribution) certified and represent world class suppliers, which is important for global companies that manufacture part or all of their products in Brazil. When selecting a distributor in the country, Pochteca´s digital transformation strategy and sustainable practices including clean energy generation with solar panels on our rooftops and green chemistry initiatives in all of our divisions, position our company in a great spot to take advantage of current trends.

Brazil received a 10-year record foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2022. What is your outlook for the chemical sector in the country and what opportunities do you identify in the short to medium term?

Brazil is among the top oil producers in the world with even a larger potential as the new oilfields start production. This, together with existing chemical and petrochemical plants and downstream specialty producers, makes me feel very optimistic about our chemical sector for the next five to 10 years (and beyond). A growing middle class and regional development provides important growth opportunities for Coremal Pochteca.

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