Leading Japanese trading and investment company ITOCHU Corporation signed a crude oil sales and purchase agreement 2024 with the Ministry of Energy and Minerals on November 29, 2023, to mark its 50th-anniversary celebrations in Oman.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of ITOCHU’s anniversary celebrations for its long-term business relationship with the Sultanate. Since the first contract year of 1974, ITOCHU has consistently been the Ministry of Energy and Minerals’ one of the longest private off-takers, responsible for lifting Oman crude.
The 50th sales and purchase agreement for the year 2024 was signed by H.E. Salim Al Aufi, Ministry of Energy and Minerals, and Mr Masaya Tanaka, President of Energy and Chemicals Company, Executive Officer, ITOCHU Corporation, at a gala event held at InterContinental Hotel in the presence of several dignitaries including H.E. Nasser Al Jashmi, Secretary General, Ministry of Finance, H.E. Mohsin Al Hadhrami, Undersecretary of Ministry of Energy and Minerals and H.E. Jota Yamamoto, Ambassador of Japan to the Sultanate of Oman.
The evening commenced with an introduction by Mr. Daigo Takeishi, General Manager, ITOCHU Muscat Office, and opening remarks by Mr. Masaya Tanaka, ITOCHU Corporation. This was followed by H.E. Salim Al Aufi, Ministry of Energy and Minerals, addressing the gathering.
The programme also featured a presentation on ITOCHU Oman Leadership Program by Zakiya Al Azri of PDO, Ahmed Al Sukaili of OIA, and the ITOCHU Oil Exploration Seminar by Ali Al Hajri, OQ Upstream. Mr. Kenji Otsuka, CEO of the Middle East bloc, ITOCHU Corporation, delivered the closing remarks.
Mr. Tetsuya Yamada, Chief Operating Officer of ITOCHU Corporation’s Energy Division, emphasised the significant growth of ITOCHU’s operations in Oman spanning five decades. The company plans to extend its reach into low-carbon energy sectors, specifically Hydrogen/Ammonia, as well as renewable energy business, including energy derived from waste. These are aimed at making substantial contributions to the In-Country Value (ICV) initiative in the forthcoming years.
In addition to its involvement in Oman’s energy sector, ITOCHU is also a shareholder of both Oman LNG and Qalhat LNG and has been lifting liquefied natural gas (LNG) since 2006, in addition to its crude oil contract. The company is also the largest shareholder of Barka Desalination Company, which started its commercial operations in June 2018 as the largest desalination plant in Oman. ITOCHU also imports Mazda cars and purified terephthalic acid (PTA) to Oman and exports French beans from Oman to Japan.
With approximately 90 offices in 61 countries, ITOCHU is engaging in domestic trading, import/export, and overseas trading of various products such as textiles, machinery, metals, minerals, energy, chemicals, food, general products, realty, information and communications technology, and finance, as well as business investment in Japan and overseas.
ITOCHU Corporation has a chequered history that goes back to 1858 when the Company’s founder Chubei Itoh, commenced linen trading operations. Since then, ITOCHU has evolved and grown over 160 years.
In FYE 2023, despite a complex business environment rattled by severe exchange rate volatility and high raw material prices attributable to inflation, the company seized on the tailwinds of high resource prices and rapidly rising market conditions. As a result, consolidated net profit totalled ¥800.5bn (Approx. US$ 6 billion), holding steady at the high level of over ¥800bn for the second consecutive year after FYE 2022’s record high of ¥820.3 billion.
On March 1, 2023, Moody’s raised the company’s long-term rating to A2, securing ITOCHU the highest rating of any general trading company from the major rating organizations. In FYE 2024, the final year of the medium-term management plan “Brand-new Deal 2023,” the company plans to achieve a conservative ¥780.0bn in consolidated net profit in the light of volatile market conditions and a persistently murky global economic outlook, including ongoing geopolitical risks.