Japan-US Business Report Logo

No. 351, December 1998

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Japanese Companies in the US


UNITED GRAIN CORP., a MITSUI & CO., LTD. company, and CENEX HARVEST STATES COOPERATIVES, the largest farmers' cooperative in the United States, have integrated their wheat and barley operations in the Pacific Northwest. Equally owned UNITED HARVEST, LLC runs two export elevators: one in Vancouver, Washington previously owned by UGC and another in Kalama, Washington that Cenex Harvest States operated. As part of the deal, grain will be shipped to them from country elevators that Cenex Harvest States has in central and Western Montana. Portland, Oregon-based United Harvest is projecting annual revenues of $730 million. It expects to handle about 6.2 million tons of wheat a year, or roughly 40 percent of the crop moving to Asia through West Coast ports, plus a smaller volume of barley. Mitsui and Cenex Harvest States, which is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, are no strangers. In the summer of 1996, they merged their respective vegetable oil-based processing, packaging and marketing operations into VENTURA FOODS, LLC. That City of Industry, California company, which is majority-owned by Mitsui, has plants across the country.

From January, BON VILLAGE FOODS CORP. will ship three types of seasonings to SAFEWAY INC. for sale in its West Coast supermarkets. Made from sun-dried vegetables, including mushrooms, the products are added to rice either before or after cooking. The Saitama prefecture firm, which just opened a plant that can turn out 400,000 packages of seasonings a month, has a 1999 sales goal of $4.1 million.

An exchange rate of ¥121=$1.00 was used in this report.

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