Oleofinos is a company that specialises in producing high-quality vegetable oils using advanced technology. To diminish market risks and give its customers the best price-quality ratio, Ricardo spends most of his time reading the news, performing analyses, and negotiating with suppliers. A significant portion (70-80%) of Oleofinos’ business is in palm oil, requiring Ricardo to pay close attention to numerous small data sets and details. With the help of Vesper, Ricardo can spend more time negotiating and less time searching for the data he needs.
Staying up to date on the latest market developments is an endless tale Ricardo begins, mainly since they source worldwide: Argentina, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia, and Europe, to name a few. In the past, I used to keep up with the latest market updates solely by WhatsApping, emailing or calling brokers, but the introduction to Vesper has made my life much easier.
“We discarded many other services we used, as Vesper ticks all the boxes”
Ricardo explains why the Forward Vesper Price Index (Forward VPI), a pricing benchmark created by input from buyers, traders, and sellers, is one of his favourite features on the Vesper platform. The palm oil market was not transparent at all; it still doesn’t have a world trade index. But now, because of using Vesper, I have an advantage compared to my colleagues; I am not blind anymore. We started using Vesper because we lacked information on palm oil prices and fatty acids. We even discarded many other services we used, as Vesper ticks all the boxes.
Ricardo is relieved that the negotiation process has changed compared to a few years ago. I used to receive open market requests and tried to negotiate from there, with a 40 to 50 euros discount without even knowing if it was a fair price or not. Now that I have the information I need, fighting for the right price is a breeze. A perfectly structured Excel sheet appears in our Teams Meeting. It’s Ricardo’s purchasing budget per quarter. If anyone offers me their prices, I simply compare my purchasing budget with the latest prices displayed in the Forward VPI to make the best hedging decisions.
“With Vesper’s information, negotiating became easy and fun”
Ricardo mentions how he cut costs with Vesper’s Forward VPI a while back. He explains that some suppliers rely on only one reference but that others, fortunately, listen to their buyers and how the market is performing. After a particular supplier realised I had more information on the market than I was supposed to have, he chuckles; they offered me a better deal. We received an offer for 1125 USD/mt when the Forward VPI showed us prices for 1100 USD/mt. With this information, negotiating became easy and fun.
Our interview gets shortly interrupted by a phone call Ricardo receives. Ricardo explains to us that it was one of his suppliers after hanging up the phone. I just closed a deal, he says, pleased. We quickly compare it to the Forward VPI and are happy to find out he got a good deal. Ricardo briefly mentions that Vesper’s Highlights and news page help him understand specific price movements and future market developments, which too help him negotiate. We applaud Ricardo for his negotiation skills, as we know that closing deals are not just based on data. Negotiating is like playing chess – practice is key.
“Vesper got us in contact with a few suppliers for fatty acids”
Of course, it’s not all about the price, Ricardo continues. At Oleofinos, we always look for non-GMO certificates and low acid parameters. We like to maintain a diverse group of suppliers to ensure that we can consistently deliver high-quality products to our clients and fulfil our commitment to excellence. Vesper got us in contact with a few suppliers for fatty acids; in the end, we didn’t pursue the collaboration, but it’s always good to surround yourself with a large pool of suppliers to fall back on.