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Maruha Nichiro Foods Markets New Brand Via Mail Order

November 6, 2009

Maruha Nichiro Foods launched a new gift brand “Ichigo Ichie” (meaning one time, one meeting) as part of its mail order service “Maruha Nichiro Direct: Marine Health.” The very first products are “Broiled King Crab” and “Miso Marinated Tiger Shrimp,” which were released on Nov. 1.

For “Broiled King Crab,” fresh Alaskan king crab is processed in Japan. The product is shipped frozen to consumers. Broiling a crab is considered the best way to consume it, however, this method is not kitchen friendly. This product can be just warmed up in a microwave, directly providing the flavor of the crab and its intense sweetness. A set of chelipeds and shoulder (250g x 2) is priced at \5,000; a set of legs (170g), shoulder (190g), and meruses (130g) at \10,000.

For “Miso Marinated Tiger Shrimp,” large wild tiger shrimp from Mozambique is used. A whole shrimp with its head and shell is marinated in Saikyo miso. Enzyme in miso paste breaks down shrimp’s protein, generating more amino acid, a flavor enhancer. Warming up the shrimp in a microwave is one way, but by lightly broiling the shrimp, you can savor the flavors of miso and shrimp with its shell all at once. A set of three packages (80g x 2) is \3,800; four packages \5,000; and six packages \7,500.

A catalog can be obtained at 0120-02-8608 (toll free) or

The original article was published on November 6, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

September Household Expenditure: Marine Foods Fall 2.3%

November 6, 2009

According to the September household expenditure report (family income and expenditure survey) released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the average expenditure for a household of two or more persons came to \277,110, down 1.5 percentage points; of which, spending on foods was \72,296, up 0.1 percent. \6,409 was expended on marine foods, which was down 2.3 percent. Fresh fish and salt-dried fish fell 3.1 and 5.4 percent respectively, compared with the same month last year; however, shellfish (0.4 percent) and kneaded fish products (0.9 percent), among others, exhibited increases.

Simmered Marine Foods (Tsukudani) For Rice And Canned Seafood Rise

Money spent purchasing fresh seafood was \3,891, down 2.9 percent. Yellowtail slumped 14.7 percent. Other fish varieties that experienced declines were Japanese horse mackerel 13.7 percent; bonito 10.7 percent; and crab 8.5 percent. Mackerel, sea bream, and squid also went down. On the other hand, octopus and tuna favorably rose 9.6 and 7.5 percent respectively. Salmon and saury increased, as well.

Consumers spent \663 on kneaded fish products, which was up 0.9 percentage points; chikuwa and fried kamaboko grew 3.4 and 1.0 percent respectively. Kamaboko, however, declined 1.1 percent.

\744, up 2.8 percent, was expended on other processed marine foods; especially, seafood tsukudani (simmered seafood) significantly grew by 14.7 percent. Pickled seafood and canned seafood also increased. Dried goods and seaweeds rose 0.6 percent to \655; kelp soared 1.4 percent, but wakame (sea mustard) dropped 6.6 percent. \7,929, up 2.1 percent, was spent on prepared foods. BBQ eel marked a 21.3 percent hike. Take-out sushi declined 1.6 percent. Consumers spent a total of \13,179 dining out; in which, sushi grew 6.4 percent.

The original article was published on November 6, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Maruha Nichiro HD Aims at Seafood Division’s \3.3B Profit for Last Half Year

November 5, 2009

Maruha Nichiro HD announced the goal of securing its fishery operations’ \3.3 billion operating profit during the last half of the term.

As a result of worsening market moves and lowering prices for the second quarter (from April to September), the holdings’ fishery operations underwent a 13 percent revenue decline as well as a \600 million operating deficit. Nevertheless, the holdings said, “We are anticipating recovering business of the Marine Products Wholesaling Unit, benefiting from the year-end business trend when the majority of profit is made. We are also expecting a profit recovery in the Marine Products Tradings Unit in the last half of the term, because we dealt with appraisal losses during the first half year.”

The Fisheries & Aquaculture Unit was affected by poor catches in northern fishing grounds for the first part of the fiscal year; however, there is “a possibility of recovery,” because fishing grounds will be moved to the South.

An economic contraction has triggered slumping moves of high-end, high-priced commodities; and therefore, it is believed that merchandises, such as tuna, will have such a difficult time recovering. Yet, the holdings said, “excluding tuna and surimi, which created appraisal losses, other fish commodities have been going as planned.” For the first part of the year, an appraisal loss of \1.6 billion was handled; of which, tuna was \700 million (roughly 800 tons) and imported chicken generated an exchange loss of \400 million.

The North America Operation Unit was forced to swallow drastic drops in revenue and profit, registering the sales of \16.988 billion, or down 21.2 percent, and the operating profit of \430 million, or an 81.6 percent decline. The results were ascribed to the poor catches of a main commodity of pollack as well as cost increases.

Regarding fisheries operations in North America, the holdings explained: “For sustainable fisheries, a fishing quota is limited to 850,000 tons this year, as opposed a million ton last year. Adding to that, we failed to secure a sufficient amount of fish for the first month of this fiscal year, because fish schools were located very far.”

North America Operation Unit Posts 34% Decline; Strategic Sales Unit Stays Afloat

Maruha Nichiro HD’s fishery operations for the second quarter indicated that the Strategic Sales Unit managed to exceed the last year’s performance; other operations fell short of the last year’s results, ending in deficits in the Fisheries & Aquaculture Unit and the North America Operation Unit. The following table indicates the financial settlements of each segment of fishing operations for the first part of the fiscal year:

 First Half Year 2008First Half Year 2009Increase/Decrease
Fisheries and Aquaculture UnitSales \16.5B\12.6B76.4%
Operating Profit \300M↓\1.2B
North America Operation UnitSales \37.2B\24.6B66.1%
Operating Profit \3B↓\200M
Marine Products Tradings UnitSales \47.2B\40B84.7%
Operating Profit \2B\300M
Marine Products Wholesaling UnitSales \164.8B\149.2B90.5%
Operating Profit \400M\100M
Strategic Sales
Sales \26.5B\26.7B100.8%
Operating Profit \100M\300M
TotalSales \292.2B\253.1B86.6%
Operating Profit \5.9B↓\600M

The original article was published on November 5, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Maruha Nichiro Suisan: Seafood Sales Prices Decline \16.3B to \81.5B

November 5, 2009

Maruha Nichiro Suisan’s marine foods sales quantities for the second quarter (from April to Sep) amounted to 113,527 tons, 90 percent of the corresponding period last year. An average unit price per kg decreased from \777 last year to \718, or down eight percentage points; and thus, the total value amount ended in \81.5 billion, a decline of \16.3 billion, or 83 percent year to year.

By fish species, octopus, squid, shrimp, shellfish, and tuna exhibited increases; surimi, southern fish, northern fish, salmon, trout, fish roe, bonito, and crab tumbled. Most of the fish species displayed contractions in unit prices, which led to transaction value declines in octopus, squid, and shrimp, though these species managed to increase their quantities.

The hardest hit item was surimi. Its transaction amount was slashed by half, from 24,048 tons last year to 12,989 tons; on top of that, its unit price plunged 32 percent, from \478 to \324. The transaction value of surimi was also reduced more than half from \11.5 billion a year ago to \4.2 billion, or 37 percent year over year.

 September 2009September 2008Year to year comparison
 Quantity (t)Value (\M)Unit PriceQuantity (t)Value (\M)Unit PriceQuantityValueUnit Price
Southern Fish6,4453,7855877,1314,42762190%85%95%
Northern Fish23,1608,12935123,8989,26438897%88%91%
Fish Roe5,1566,0351,1705,8567,4351,27088%81%92%

The original article was published on November 5, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Tosakatsuo Suisan Receives MSC Certification

November 2, 2009

Tosakatsuo Suisan Group (President Hiroyuki Myojin) received the MSC certification for its pole and line skipjack tuna fishery on Nov.1. After two years and seven months of a long, drilling assessment process, which included preliminary and final assessments, the pole and line skipjack fishery was awarded the certification for the first time in this particular fishing method.

In the assessment process, it was recognized that the pole and line skipjack fishery in the Midwestern Pacific managed to maintain natural resources reproduction, minimizing the adverse effects on other marine life.

Tosakatsuo Suisan President Myojin said, “How we decided to take on the MSC certification for our pole and line skipjack tuna fishery goes back to when I met MSC’s CEO, Mr. Rupert Howes, who was visiting Japan to set up their Japan Office. His telling me that Japan’s pole and line skipjack tuna fisheries would meet the MSC’s principles encouraged me to take this challenge. I am very proud that ‘the method of pole and line skipjack tuna fishery,’ which has been developed since the time when our ancestors pulled an oar and spread sail, has been proved as a truly sustainable fishing method.”

The 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10) is scheduled for next year in Nagoya. President Myojin added, “As Japan and other countries are showing their interest in marine resources preservation, we will continue our effort to make pole and line skipjack tuna fisheries shine all over again.”

The original article was published on November 2, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

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