Mitsui and Louis Dreyfus Commodities establishes a Joint Venture of Canola Crushing Business in Canada

Dec. 7, 2007

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Mitsui & Co., Ltd. together with Mitsui & Co. (Canada) Ltd. have agreed to establish a joint venture canola crushing business in Canada with Louis Dreyfus Commodities (LDC). LDC is one of the largest international processors and merchants of agricultural commodities. Through its wholly-owned company in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, LDC will hold a 60% stake in the new venture and Mitsui a 40% stake.

The new joint venture has acquired a strategic site for building a new canola crushing plant in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, in the heart of the canola production area of Western Canada. The joint venture has completed preliminary site work and will start full scale construction in the spring in 2008 with a scheduled start-up of operations in the first half of 2009. Once operational, the plant will become one of the largest canola crushing plants in North America, with yearly crushing capacity of approximately 850,000mt of canola seed (2,500 m/t per day). The plant will annually manufacture approximately 350,000 m/t of canola oil as well as 500,000 m/t canola meal for distribution mainly into the North American market.

Mitsui and LDC will jointly invest more than JPY 13 billion (approximately U$ 120 million) in this project. This is the first full-fledged joint project for Mitsui with LDC, a major multinational agro-industrial firm.

In tandem with growing global edible oil demand due to an increase of global population as well as rising bioenergy related demand, vegetable oil demand will continue to increase. Canola oil is one of the top three vegetable oils consumed around the world, together with palm oil and soy oil, and its global demand will continue to increase into the future. This is especially evident in the U.S., where farmers have put a priority on corn production over soybeans due to the sharply increasing demand of bio-ethanol. Alternative vegetable oil supply is strongly required to make up for the potential lack of supply of soy oil. Furthermore, alternative vegetable oils have been required to replace hydrogenated soy oil due to the growing awareness of health issues such as efforts to get rid of trans fatty acid created in the process of hydrogenation. Canola oil has enjoyed growing demand as one of the best solutions to satisfy these requirements. Canada is also recognized as the only country to deal with such growing demand of canola oil.

This investment will benefit Canadian farmers, the Canadian canola industry and consumers alike. Mitsui also intends to make active, broad-ranging contributions to the worldwide growing food demand.

Louis Dreyfus Commodities is an international producer, merchant and processor of agricultural commodities privately owned by the Louis-Dreyfus family and its aggregate average annual gross sales in recent years is over U$ 20 billion. The Group has merchandised and traded bulk commodities in international markets since 1851 and soft commodities such as grains, oilseeds, cotton, citrus, coffee, rice, sugar, alcohol and ocean freight are key business to the Group.

Company Name Louis Dreyfus Group
Location Geneva, Switzerland
Establishment 1851, Private
Recent annual gross sales Over U$ 20 billion (over approximately JPY 2.2 trillion)
Employees Over 12,000

This press release includes forward-looking statements about Mitsui. These forward-looking statements are based on the current assumptions and beliefs of Mitsui in light of the information currently available to it, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause Mitsui's actual results, performance, achievements or financial position to be materially different from any future results, performance, achievements or financial position expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The risks, uncertainties and other factors referred to above include, but are not limited to, those contained in Mitsui's latest annual report on Form 20-F, which has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
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For inquiries on this matter, please contact

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Corporate Communications Division
Telephone: +81-3-3285-7566
Facsimile: +81-3-3285-9819