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By Avinesh Gopal

SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 12, 2001 – Fiji Times)---The sugar industry has entered into a long-term arrangement to supply up to 60,000 tons of sugar to Japan annually.

A Fiji sugar-marketing delegation led by Sugar Commission of Fiji Chairman Gerald Barrack traveled to Japan last week for talks with the Nissho Iwai Corporation.

Included in the team were Fiji Sugar Corporation’s outgoing managing director Jonetani Galuinadi, Sugar Cane Growers Council’s Chief Executive Jagannath Sami, and Fiji Sugar Marketing Company Limited Managing Director John May.

Mr. Barrack said the delegation met Nissho Iwai Corporation executives in Japan.

They were briefed on the changes taking place in the Japanese refining industry and the amalgamation of several refiners in Japan.

"The Fiji sugar industry has had a long term association with Nissho Iwai and both parties have agreed to enter into a successor long term arrangement for the purchase of up to 60,000 tons of sugar a year," he said.

"Nissho has also indicated their interest in additional quantities from Fiji whenever it becomes available."

Nissho’s Shin Meito factory is now amalgamated with Mitsui Corporation sugar business and the new company, Shin Mitsui Sugar Company Limited, will be the largest refiner in Japan.

The delegation also traveled to China where they met with China National Cereals, Oils and Grain Import/Export Group’s (COFCO) sugar and oil division's general manager Li Ming and China National Sugar.

In addition, they met with Alcohol Corporation Group President Wang Xin Guo as a follow-up to last year's marketing visit.

Mr. Barrack said the Chinese officials confirmed the need for China to import sugar during the second half of this year.

"Both organisations were very keen to purchase Fiji sugar and, in the case of COFCO, very keen to recommence the association with Fiji which they had over many years," he said.

"China has not imported sugar from the world market during the past few years because of high domestic production. However, due to the downturn in their current crop and depletion of strategic stocks, they will need to import a substantial amount in 2001."

Mr. Barrack said Fiji is in a position to supply one or two cargoes - 15,000 to 20,000 tons - to China during the second half of this year.

For additional reports from the Fiji Times, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Fiji Times.

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