All about Global Trade Finance: Amer Matar explains it all
We spoke with Amer Matar, Director of Global Supply Chain Finance at TradeBridge to understand how global trading has been affected in 2020, and what's to be expected in 2021.
How did you become a commodities trader?
Amer explains how he became Director of Global Supply Chain Finance at Tradebridge and shares his vast experience in commodities.
"I felt that at TradeBridge we could offer the best of both worlds to our clients: we clearly understood our their requirements as well as the dynamics, and the trials and tribulations that form part of the commodity trading world, from the crop farmer all the way to the end user."
Tell us about trading volumes of sugar and coffee?
Amer describes the volumes of demand for coffee and sugar, where the products are produced, and what factors have affected the supply.
"There's been a lot of factors that have affected the coffee crop. Obviously COVID being one, but also, we've had some massive floods in places like Honduras El Salvador Nicaragua which have been hit a lot by the adverse weather."
What part of the process does a TradeBridge facility cover?
Amer describes how Woodsford TradeBridge can help mitigate the clients exposure to risk throughout global trading processes.
"We enable the client to free up some of their working capital, so they can ensure that the product moves all the way through the process seamlessly before getting delivered to the customer."
How do your clients respond to the opportunity of a TradeBridge facility?
We develop strong relationships with our clients because our global trading finance process is built on expertise, reliability and trust.
"We ensure that if our client has a problem at any certain time, they can approach us. They’ll know that we have an understanding, and we try and find solutions."
How much of an enabler has technology been to global supply chain finance?
Amer told us about the positive influence of technology in global markets and how the internet has allowed primary producers to have further access to price matching and discovery.
"Technology has kind of levelled the playing field a little more for people. It certainly allowed the process to be much more efficient and much more manageable."
What change of scope in production have you seen?
Amer told us about the decline of Cuba as a global sugar producer; as a result of both under investment and poor infrastructure.
"Basically, the origin of produce requires a lot of investment, it requires a lot of infrastructure, requires a lot of tender loving care, and if you don't give it that you lose your place."
This brings us to the present day, how has the pandemic affected the global commodities market?
Amer describes the pandemic as the catalyst to issues that were already present in the market, and significantly, the fact that there is still a massive financing gap in global trade.
"I think there's going to be some tough times ahead before we start to stabilise again, but we feel positive about the future and I think certain industries are just going to suffer much more than others."
What pillars should businesses put in place to create a more certain trade environment for the years ahead?
Amer suggested that one of the key business priorities for 2021 is liquidity.
"If you don't have liquidity, you don't have a business. Liquidity is cash, and cash is King, especially in this market."