"We have around 1,000 products in our portfolio, which we aim to continue growing with approximately 10 new products per month. Our key divisions in Brazil are beauty and health, industrial processes, and food. An important factor to achieve ultimate growth is that we treat each business segment like an individual company."
What are Química Anastacio’s growth projections for 2020?
JK: Química Anastacio operates in 18 market segments and we see plenty opportunities to complete more packages coming from suppliers and customers. Currently we have around 1,000 products in our portfolio, which we aim to continue growing with approximately 10 new products per month.
Currently, our key divisions in Brazil are beauty and health, industrial processes, and food. An important factor for Química Anastacio to achieve ultimate growth is that we treat each business segment like an individual company.
How do you adapt to the ups and downs of the regional economy?
MV: The economic and political situation in Latin America is currently going through deep instability. This challenging situation can represent an opportunity for Anastacio. We aim to be present in this market through decades and will always be part of this culture. During difficult times like these, a significant number of international companies leave the region in fear of losing profits. That represents an opportunity for us to gain more market share and more relevance for our suppliers.
How do you believe the Brazilian economy will behave now that pension reform has been approved?
JK: We are quite optimistic about Brazil and have had very positive results in the country over the last year. The interest rate decreased to 5% per year, the lowest in history; country risk declined by almost half; employment rate started to increase and the Stock Exchange hit historical highs by the end 2019. Brazil has over 400 public companies and we expect to see a significant number of privatizations moving forward. With a good reform, Brazil can start growing again.
How has 2019 been to Anastacio Overseas, the trading company of the group?
MV: 2019 was a challenging year for Anastacio Overseas. One reason being that chemical raw materials prices significantly decreased. We estimate we’ll reach approximately 50,000 tons in 2019. That is more than a 56% increase compared to 2018, when we had a volume of 32,000 tons. But our turnover increased moderately, from U$S54 million in 2018 to approximately U$S60 million in 2019. In today’s context, it is quite difficult for a trading company to make good profits. However, we are not worried about the future as we were still able to increase our volumes. Anastacio Overseas has a strong market position and the knowledge to keep on growing. As soon as the market situation improves, we will have a competitive edge to further expand and increase profitability.
The backbone of our business for 2019 was our industrial chemicals division, which includes resins, coatings and paints. We were able to increase our sales there by approximately 70%, especially with significant demand coming from the South Cone.
What opportunities does the APLA event bring to a company such as Anastacio?
MV: For Anastacio, APLA is one of the most important events of the year as it can facilitate great growth opportunities. Every year, the event is becoming increasingly professional and effective.
JK: The APLA event is a great place and a very efficient way to meet suppliers and distributors from across Latin America. This great networking opportunity not only creates concrete business opportunities, but allows a deep view over the market.
APLA celebrates its 40 years in 2020. What have been the main changes you have seen in APLA and the wider chemical industry over the last decades?
JK: APLA has always maintained a deep commitment to integration: Between producers and channels, suppliers and clients, service providers and business partners, APLA has always been home for the Latin American petrochemical community members willing to connect with each other, and worldwide companies looking at this region as their focal point of growth.
We have memories of the APLA since late nineties, when meetings were held only to keep track of our comrades and maintain the fellowship needed to conduct business all year round. Nowadays, being an APLA member means to be part of a worldwide open and extremely professional community, ready to openly share the strengths every member has.