COMMODITY BRIEFS

COMMODITY BRIEFS

WHEAT COUNCIL RAISES

ESTIMATES ON IMPORTSThe International Wheat Council Thursday raised to 38 million tons its forecast of total 1991-92 (July to June) Commonwealth of Independent States grain imports.

This compares with the February forecast of 37 million tons.

Commonwealth wheat imports are now pegged at 22 million tons, up 1 million from the February estimate, but coarse grain imports are left at 16 million.

BEEF, PORK IMPORTS FELL

IN JAPAN FOR FEBRUARY

TOKYO - Japan's beef imports declined 12.2 percent and pork imports fell 4.9 percent in February from January, according to figures released Thursday by the Ministry of Finance.

Japan imported 22,570 metric tons of beef in February, down from 25,702 in January.

Total beef imports from Australia stood at 11,282 metric tons - 3,043 metric tons of frozen beef, and 8,239 metric tons of chilled beef.

Total beef imports from the United States stood at 10,740 metric tons - 6,918 metric tons of frozen beef, and 3,822 metric tons of chilled beef.

Pork imports fell to 35,792 metric tons in February from 37,632 in January.

ALUMAX TO ESTABLISH

SALES OFFICE IN JAPAN

TOKYO - Alumax Inc., the third-largest U.S. aluminum smelting and processing company, plans to develop its Japanese operations fully by setting up a subsidiary in the United States that will open a representative office in Tokyo in April.

Until now, Alumax has used Japanese trading houses to market its aluminum products in Japan. Now the company intends to use its Japanese subsidiary to win and hold onto large customers in the long term.

Alumax also hopes to use the subsidiary to collect information enabling it to expand its sales network by tying up with Japanese companies.

Alumax's annual Japanese sales total $600 million, more than half of that through Mitsui and Co.