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Ajinomoto shifts production base


Ajinomoto, Japan's largest seasoning maker, will move its production base for worldwide distribution to Thailand from Japan to cut costs, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported at the weekend.

Ajinomoto will invest about 10 billion yen (US$ 81.71 million) to build a new plant and boost output capacity at two existing plants in Thailand, the financial daily said.

No one at Ajinomoto could be reached for comment over the weekend. The shift to Thailand aims to take advantage of the wide availability of materials and low production costs there, the paper said.

The new plant will mainly produce nucleotide, a seasoning used for processed foods like soup and curry, and when it starts operations in summer of 2003, Ajinomoto will stop producing it at one of its four nucleotide plants in Japan.

Ajinomoto is the world's top producer of nucleic acid seasonings, commanding 45 per cent of a market that is expanding at a rate of seven to eight per cent a year, the paper said.

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