Trading firm Marubeni Corp (8002.T) and four others have agreed to build an agribusiness complex in Hokkaido, Japan's northern main island, to streamline feed storage and production for large-sized cattle farmers.
The companies said in a joint statement on Wednesday that the complex, to be built with the funds contributed by the five firms for an estimated 14 billion yen ($122 million), is in Tokachi port in the southern coast of Hokkaido, where Panamax carriers can unload imported grain.
"Hokkaido is a large domestic market and is yet growing," said Takashi Hashimoto, a Marubeni spokesman.
Japan's cattle feed market has been mostly matured with annual demand of 24 million tonnes. Of that, Hokkaido accounts to some 13 percent, he said.
A feed plant to be operated by a joint venture between Nippon Beet Sugar Manufacturing Co Ltd (2108.T) and unlisted Marubeni Nisshin Feed Co Ltd will start running fully in April 2011, with output of 420,000 tonnes a year. The complex also has a storage capacity of 40,000 tonnes.
Nippon Beet Sugar will have a 30 percent stake in the feed plant with 450 million yen in capital, and the remaining 70 percent is held by Marubeni Nisshin Feed, a joint venture between Marubeni and flour miller Nisshin Seifun Group (2002.T).
The storage unit is run by a joint venture with 460 million yen in capital, of which Marubeni and port transport services company Kamigumi Co Ltd (9364.T) each have a 35 percent stake, and unlisted Pacific Grain Terminal, Marubeni's grain transporting unit, holds the remaining 30 percent.