Weak fuel prices drag down Japan trading house profit from last year's records
TOKYO, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Japanese trading houses Mitsubishi Corp and Sumitomo Corp posted declines in first-quarter net profit on Thursday, moving away from record-high earnings as global commodity prices fell.
Fossil fuels such as liquefied natural gas and thermal coal have fallen more than 60% and 70%, respectively, in price so far this year, coming off peaks last year following Russia's invasion of Ukraine - when trading houses posted record profit.
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Mitsubishi saw profit in the first quarter of the fiscal year ending March 2024 fall 40.5% to 317.7 billion yen ($2.21 billion), albeit beating the market expectation of 224.3 billion yen, and which was still its second-highest ever.
Peer Sumitomo posted a 16.6% drop in April-June profit to 129.4 billion yen versus the 121.4 billion yen average forecast of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.
On Tuesday, trading house Mitsui & Co also posted an 8% fall in first-quarter profit at 252.8 billion yen, after taking a 44 billion yen hit from lower commodity prices.
($1 = 143.5800 yen) (Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Christopher Cushing)