Which Online Brokerage Business Can Pay You Big?

Are you already in the international brokerage business or are you thinking of going into it and wondering how to get fat commissions? If yes, you are no doubt looking for the right products to handle, where to find them, and how to propose them.

The products which could assure you huge commissions can be grouped into three categories: energy products; agricultural products; and mineral, metal, and material products.

Considering energy products, we can cite coke, coal, crude oil, fuel oil, jet fuel, Diesel D-2, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The agricultural products of interest can be grouped under three sub-categories: plant oil, grains, and agrochemicals. Under plant oil, we may mention palm oil, sesame oil, rapeseed oil for biodiesel production, sunflower oil, and soybean oil; for grains, we have wheat, rice, and sugar; and concerning agrochemicals, we can mention fertilizers such as UREA, NPK, and DAP.

As for the minerals, metals, and materials, the sub-categories worth considering are metal wastes such as HMS (Heavy Metal Sheets) 1, HMS 1&2, and railway scrap; iron ore; and cement.

Offers for all the products listed above can be obtained on the various business portals. One can also find suppliers online by searching with http://www.google.com or any other search engine. Just type, for example, “suppliers of palm oil” into the browser window and you’d receive huge search results. You can also find suppliers in exporters directories and from exporters associations and chambers of commerce.

However it is important to know the countries where these products are easily available.

Coal is plentiful in Brazil and India. Coke also. For crude oil, look towards Nigeria for Bonny Light Crude Oil (BLCO), Saudi Arabia, and the CIS countries, especially Russia. Fuel oil, jet fuel, Diesel D-2, LNG and LPG abound in the former Eastern European countries and in the Middle East.

For the energy products, (and of course, for all products) preferably look for offers from end sellers or sellers’ mandates only. Forget intermediaries and facilitators; they will only waste your time. Discounts are often between US$3 to US$5. Ask the seller to send you the Full Corporate Offer (FCO) under penalty of perjury or the draft contract plus banking coordinates.

You can obtain offers for the agrochemicals from Canada, China, the CIS countries (especially Ukraine), and from Russia. Always ask for the specifications of the products since there are different kinds of each. For example, we have NPK 10-20-20, NPK 10-20-15, and others.

Look to Asia, especially Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, for palm and sesame oils; Canada for rapeseed oil; and Brazil, Argentina, the US, and Canada for sunflower and soybean oils.
Concerning grains, the best sources for wheat are North and South America, especially the US and Brazil. As for rice, Asian countries such as Pakistan, India, Thailand, and Vietnam head the list of suppliers. Rice is specified under “percentage broken.” Thus we have 5% broken rice, 10% broken, 15% broken, 25% broken, and so on. Each of these types has ready markets in certain parts of the world. For instance, West Africa consumes 25% broken rice most, principally because it is the cheapest. Basmati is premium rice and has a distinctive flavor.

HMS 1, according to ISRI code 200-202 and HMS 1&2 (80/20), according to ISRI code 200-206, are available in the CIS countries and in African countries such as Congo, Angola, and South Africa. As for railway scrap (R50/R65), either uncut or cut to lengths of 1 or 1.5 meters, the best source is Central Europe, especially Russia. Look for spot contracts of 30,000 metric tons or less or annual ones of 12 x 30,000 metric tons. Avoid any product labelled NHI because it is not serious. Ask for an FCO with performance bond (PB) and proof of product (POP). Offers which grant visits at the loading port for inspection may be genuine. As for iron ore, India, South Africa, Australia, and Brazil are the best origins. Look for iron ore with 64.5% iron content. Offers are usually between 10,000 and 40,000 metric tons. Any grade of Portland cement conforming to ASTM-C-150 is acceptable. Ask for the specification or the grade and the type of packaging. The best suppliers are from China, Russia, and Ukraine.

How can you get buyers for these offers?

The business-to-business portals also serve to sell goods. You can post selling trade leads there or look for buyers who have posted buying leads. But know that as a broker it may be difficult for you to sell on the business websites, especially if you obtained the offers online. For one thing, you can hardly compete with end sellers or their mandates, except where you are getting your commission from the seller’s net price. Secondly, buyers are wary of brokers because many have wasted their time in the past.

You may search for buyers online or look them up in directories of importers or contact importers associations and the chambers of commerce.

For energy products, companies in America and Europe are always looking for them. Asian countries have also become major importers. Crude oil, especially Nigerian BLCO, is in high demand. But no one will consider an offer from a broker. The solution will be to join with a seller or his mandate.
Fertilizers, edible oils, and grains are also used worldwide. A little research will tell you which type is right for which region.

The best place to offer HMS, railway scrap, and iron ore is first China, then India, and in the third place Turkey. Cement is a worldwide commodity.
Your offer should be as professional as you would expect from a seller. Don’t forget to ask your buyers for proofs of funds (POF) and for proof of previous performance.

Now that you know the products to make your dream of big commissions come true, where to get the offers, and how to get them to the right market, all that is left for you to do is to get down to work.

SIDEBAR

• The most notable business portals are: http://www.alibaba.com, http://www.indiamart.com, http://www.ec21.com, [http://www.bidmix.net], http://www.asianet.com, and [http://www.globalsources.com].

• Other search engines are: http://www.munky.com, http://www.hotmail.com, http://www.yahoo.com, http://www.lycos.com, http://www.voila.fr,
http://www.northernlight.com, http://www.altavista.com, http://www.ixquick.com.

• From the comfort of your chair use search engines to find addresses where you can obtain exporters directories (Type “exporters directories” into your browser window) and where you can find exporters associations (Type in “exporters associations”) and chambers of commerce (Type in “chambers of commerce”).

• NPK fertilizer is the one containing 10% Nitrogen, 20% Phosphorous, and 20% Potassium.

• Commissions on these businesses can range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundred thousands and even a million dollars or more. Like every good thing, it is not easy to earn.