IMPORT BRIEFS

IMPORT BRIEFS

Cocoa Producers Reject

Demands on PricesCocoa producers Wednesday rejected consumer demands for the key issues of supplementary price support measures and intervention prices to be tackled together during the two-week conference of the International Cocoa Organization, instead of at separate meetings, delegates said.

A special council session was scheduled and was to be followed by a working group to examine alternatives to the proposed stock withholding scheme, delegates said.

A separate special council will debate a revision to the ICCO's intervention price range (currently 1,485 to 2,155 special drawing rights per metric ton), delegates said.

Under the 1986 International Cocoa Agreement, the stock withholding scheme is automatically implemented if the council does not agree an alternative secondary price support measure within five working days.

Under the scheme, a maximum of 120,000 metric tons of cocoa can be withheld from world markets.

Japanese Plan to Buy

Electrode Plant in SC

TOKYO - Showa Denko K.K., a leading Japanese chemical company, said it signed a letter of intent to buy an electrode manufacturing plant in South Carolina from BOC Group Inc. for about $100 million.

A Showa Denko official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the plant, currently owned by Airco Carbon, BOC Group's carbon division in Ridgeville, S.C., would be transferred to Showa Denko after approval from the U.S. Justice Department this summer.

He said the plant would have an annual production capacity of 27,000 tons of artificial graphite electrodes, which will be used for steelmaking.

Ford, Union Reach

Agreement in Mexico

MEXICO CITY - Negotiators for the Ford Motor Co. and the Council of Automotive Workers of Ford Motor Co. said they reached new two-year labor agreements for workers at the Chihuahua Engine Plant in Chihuahua, Mexico, and at the Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly Plant in Hermosillo, Mexico.

About 1,000 hourly workers had been on strike at the Chihuahua Plant since Feb. 8, 1988.

The previous two-year agreement at Chihuahua expired at midnight Jan. 31, 1988 but had been extended to Feb. 8. The contract at Hermosillo expired at midnight Feb. 29.

Employees at Chihuahua produce the 2.3-liter, 4-cylinder engine for the Mexican domestic market and for export to the United States and Canada. Production was scheduled to resume March 2, 1988.

Porsche Prices

To Increase by 2.5 percent

RENO, Nev. - Porsche Cars North America Inc. said the manufacturer's suggested retail prices of its 1988 924S and 944 models will rise by 2.5 percent.

Those of the 911 and 928S 4 models will increase by 4 percent, the West German auto manufacturer said.

The price changes cover vehicles produced after Feb. 1, 1988, and reaching U.S. dealers in March.

Vehicle destination and predelivery charges remain unchanged.

Japanese Auto Exports

To US Fell in January

TOKYO - Japanese automakers exported 9.1 percent fewer cars, trucks and buses in January, largely because the yen's rise against the dollar shrank shipments to the United States, an industry association announced.

Exports to the United States dropped 19.4 percent from a year earlier to 199,904 units, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Japanese companies exported a total 524,785 units in January.

The United States is the largest market for Japanese car exports.

Exports to the United States in the first 10 months of fiscal 1987, which ends in March, were down 5.4 percent compared with a year earlier, to 1.978 million units.

Total exports to the U.S. market for fiscal 1987 will probably not exceed the 2.3 million unit quota set in Japan's voluntary export restrictions, the spokesman said.