Latin America: A Market with Great Potential

At the recent World Recycling Convention in Berlin, the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) staged another meeting of its Latin America Committee (LAC).

The gathering provided an opportunity to foster relationships between people already active in the Latin American market and those interested in developing trading links with a region which – according to LAC Chair Alejandro Jaramillo of Glorem SC in Mexico – was alive with “significant growth opportunities” for the sourcing and selling of recyclables.

As reported, in Latin America with 20 countries covering a total of 21 million square kilometers and with a population of close to 600 million people, there is great trading potential. For example, Alejandro Guerra of the Mexico-based automotive components provider Nemak underlined his company’s desire to “develop a sustainable supply chain” to support the steep growth in demand for its products. Given the limited availability in Latin America, his company was always seeking additional scrap vendors in other parts of the world who were able to offer reliable supply and quality, he was quoted by BIR.

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Personal contact is important

Contributors to the meeting also stressed the challenges of doing business in that part of the world. LAC founder Enrique Acosta of BMB Metals in the USA, who had been conducting business in Latin America for more than two decades, urged container exporters from the region to dedicate human resources to the direct managerial control of shipments so as to ensure, for example, the best freight deals and the proper processing of documentation. In Latin America, he said, it was necessary to be “more proactive” with, for example, shipping lines in order to “keep the loop moving”.

In addition, Mr Acosta and Mr Guerra agreed on the need for companies to “do their homework” on potential business partners. “I don’t buy from unknown sources,” the former was cited.

According to the information, even a country the size of Brazil had a relatively low number of exporters – often because making initial contacts was “really hard”, explained Sébastien Hidalgo of the Spain-based Reinox Metal. For example, many of its relatively large companies did not have their own websites and detailed information on them was often difficult to secure. Mr Hidalgo hoped and believed the LAC would be instrumental to bridge this gap.

Photo: pixabay