Sojitz Corporation


Nissho Iwai Corporation Commences Import of Farm-raised Tuna

Sep. 16, 2002

TOKYO(September 16, 2002)--Nissho Iwai made a contract with Turkish fishery company AKUA-DEM (located in Istanbul) to import ' farm-raised tuna (Bluefin Tuna)', thereby enhancing its import/sales operations of farm-raised tuna, which are raised for a certain period after capture for fattening purpose. Farm-raised tuna, for which domestic demand has mushroomed in recent years, are stable in quality and price. Until now, Nissho Iwai has been conducting sales/import of Australian farm-raised tuna (Southern Bluefin Tuna). Through the procurement expansion, Nissho Iwai will expand the business in order to establish a system in which high-quality products can be stably supplied to domestic markets.

Try Inc. (President: Shigeo Koizumi; Shimizu-City, Shizuoka), Nissho Iwai's domestic business partner, will dispatch its staff to AKUA-DEM fish-rearing bases in Chesme district, Southwestern Turkey, to provide technical assistance regarding composition of the food used for fish-rearing and the processing that takes place prior to shipment. Tuna fish are captured in Antalya Bay in southern Turkey from around June to July, fattened by approximately 30% over the course of about half a year, and then shipped as farm-raised tuna. The tuna fish to be farm-raised this time will be processed from around October till the end of the year, and be imported as frozen tuna from early next year. About 500 tons are scheduled to be imported from Turkey for the first year.

Japan's annual import volume of tuna for sashimi (fresh slices of raw fish) is approx. 500,000 tons, of which 20,000 tons are farm-raised. Until now, Spain, Croatia and Malta have been the major shippers to Japan. Nissho Iwai commenced import of farm-raised tuna from Australia in 1997, and in this fiscal year will handle about 1,500 tons of farm-raised tuna, mainly from Australia and Turkey. Demand for farm-raised tuna is increasing since they have little price fluctuation, their supply is stable, and they provide a lot of 'toro (tuna with high fat content)'. However, there is a tendency for fish-rearing bases to become insufficient to meet demand. For such reason, Nissho Iwai has decided to launch this new business in Turkey, where the fishing grounds, water quality and topographic features are suitable for fish-rearing.

As can be understood from the fact that Nissho Iwai boasts handling of the highest volume of imported mackerel, the company makes a strong showing in the handling of fishery products. Nissho Iwai also actively engages in the development of overseas production/processing bases, such that the company commenced import of farm-raised shrimp from Saudi Arabia in addition to the aforementioned import of mackerel and tuna. 

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