Through an expenditure of $10.7 million, CARGILL INC. erected 12 freezer tanks at a site in Chiba prefecture to store frozen condensed orange juice imported from Brazil. From there, a fleet of tanker trucks will deliver juice directly to beverage producers. The new facility can store 6,600 tons of juice at one time. Cargill, the biggest importer of orange juice from Brazil, which is Japan's dominant supplier, plans to bring in about 22,000 tons of the condensed product annually.
Bottlers affiliated with COCA-COLA CO. might control the canned soda market, but their combined sales represent less than 20 percent of the total for tea in plastic bottles. To improve that standing, MINAMI KYUSHU COCA-COLA BOTTLING CO., LTD. in Yamanashi prefecture, MIKUNI COCA-COLA BOTTLING CO., LTD. in Saitama prefecture and some other group members are in the process of boosting aggregate annual capacity 150 percent or so to 25 million cases of 24 bottles each. Coke's subsidiary covered roughly two-thirds of the $71.4 million cost.
The fourth-largest U.S. beef packer has opened a wholly owned subsidiary in Tokyo. FARMLAND NATIONAL BEEF INC. of Kansas City, Missouri shipped $120 million worth of chilled beef to Japan in 1997. With an in-country presence, it hopes to double that figure this year. The new unit will take orders from trading companies, processors and other buyers and send this information back to its parent. Last December, Farmland National Beef tied up with a cattle producers' cooperative, which allows the company to respond more flexibly to customers' demands.
A third big oil company has tied up with MCDONALD'S CO. (JAPAN) LTD. in an effort to gain an edge in Japan's gas-station wars. MITSUBISHI OIL CO., LTD. expects to open 20 service centers with a drive-through McDonald's by 2000. The first one has opened in Shiraoka, Saitama prefecture. NIPPON OIL CO., LTD. and MOBIL CORP.'s subsidiary have similar deals with the fast-food operator.
An exchange rate of ¥140=$1.00 was used in this report.