“It is very important to understand each particular market: copy-and-paste does not work. Even within Latin America, each country has a different culture and practices.”
-Matthias Vorbeck, General Manager
Anastacio Overseas was created fairly recently. What has been its evolution?
MV: Anastacio Overseas started in November 2014, when regional clients in Brazil asked Química Anastacio to serve their subsidiaries in other countries of Latin America. At the beginning, the level of activity was low. Then, in March 2016, a small team of professionals out of the trading segment were hired by Jan Felix Krueder, the owner, to internationalize the Anastacio brand. Back then we were three people and had revenues of US$18 million. By the end of 2017 we had annual sales of US$36 million and a team of 10 people. Then, we incorporated two new business units: human & animal nutrition and agro/micronutrients. As of December 2018 we have 15 employees, 11 focused on the commercial work and four people in our operational team, and the annual turnover is now more than US$60 million. Also, we recently incorporated a chlor-alkali expert to focus on the PVC business.
What are the synergies created between Anastacio Overseas and Química Anastacio?
MV: We do not have such a big portfolio as Química Anastacio has as a chemical distributor in Brazil, but for the main products we are buying together, which gives us purchasing power. Secondly, we have access to all market segments, from a small client in the countryside in Brazil to a large multinational active in the whole region. So, we can provide from one bag up to thousands of tonnes. Then, it is important for multinationals to have a wide range of alternatives for their supply chain. In countries like Brazil and Argentina, the logistics processes are usually complex, so the flexibility we are able to provide, having both domestic stocks and a flexible access to external sources, is a good add-on.
What is the breakdown in terms of countries and industries?
MV: When we started three years ago, Brazil represented 50% of Anastacio Overseas business, and it now represents 20% to 25%. Smaller countries are providing a very positive response to our model. We serve distributors, and also clients who want to import directly, in segments like polyurethane (PU), PVC, expandable polystyrene (EPS) as well as the resins, food and agro industries. Several multinationals, for instance, are clients of both Química Anastacio and Anastacio Overseas. At the beginning, we were highly dependent on the PU business, which represented 65% of our turnover. It is still our main business, but we now have a healthier sales breakdown.
AG: Commodities represent the main portion of our sales, but we also provide industrial chemicals, home and personal care raw materials, food ingredients, and products for feed and fertilizers. We are on the way to replicate the same portfolio of Química Anastacio’s distribution business in the trading company as well. In terms of sales, we have well-balanced penetration in the different countries outside of Brazil where we operate: Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina with the target to develop within 2019 the Central American and Caribbean region.
What opportunity do you see in Argentina in particular?
AG: We opened the Argentina office with two goals: to offer products from producers located out of the region (mainly in Asia), but also to start the distribution business in the country. 2017 and 2018 were years of start-up and testing, and now in 2019 we have the challenge to take the business in Argentina to a different level. We have incorporated the most talented professional team for distribution. Although 2019 is an election year, we expect it not to be as volatile as 2018 has been.
What are Anastacio Overseas’ main strategies to conducting business?
MV: Our main values are working with full transparency; understanding and fulfilling our clients’ expectations; and always providing market insights to them, so they can make the best decision. Flexibility is a competitive edge, the decision process is very quick. We also believe that it is very important to understand each particular market: copy-and-paste does not work. Even within Latin America, each country has a different culture and practices.
AG: Transparency is indeed a key aspect. There used to be an old school of non-transparent trading houses. On the contrary, what we do is to sit with clients and suppliers to share all market information available, so we can maximize the netback of the producers and minimize the costs of the buyers, optimizing the outcome for both sides.
MV: We will continue growing rapidly over the next years based on these pillars, in a healthy way and keeping a long-term vision. We are always looking for talented and experienced professionals, with deep knowledge of the market and the products, and an unbreakable entrepreneurship profile. In Anastacio Overseas, we provide the best platform to succeed in the chemical market: independency, financial strength, efficient logistics, operational excellence and the quickest decision-making process.