Sojitz Corp. to Post More Profits in Aluminium Business

Sojitz Corporation, Japanese major trading house, estimates the net sales of its non-ferrous metals department would increase to 85 billion yen in fiscal 2005 ending March 2006 from 73.1 billion yen of fiscal 2004 with the prices soar of non-ferrous materials. In fiscal 2006 the firm aims to improve profitability more and to double recurring profit of the department from fiscal 2005. The firm strengthens the non-ferrous metals business with the output expansion nearly completing at the alumina production joint venture in Worsley, Australia and the sales expansion of aluminium billet smelted at Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (ALBA) in Bahrain.The aluminium unit represents 70% of the sales of the non-ferrous division. The firm has 9% share of the JV in Worsley. The alumina production capacity of the JV is expanded from 3.25 million tonnes to 3.5 million tonnes per year for around 30 billion yen of total investment. The expansion would be completed by March 2006. Sojitz expects the output expansion could contribute to profit increase of the firm when alumina spot price is soaring to above US$ 600 per tonne.Sojitz also aims to increase the sales of aluminium billet supplied mainly from ALBA. Sojitz sells around 80,000 tonnes of aluminium billet per year for Japan, Taiwan, Philippine and Indonesia. The firm plans to sell 100,000 tonnes this year.