May 7, 2020 / 5:35 AM / 21 days ago

Japan's Marubeni predicts return to profit in 2020/21

TOKYO, May 7 (Reuters) - Marubeni Corp said on Thursday it expects a net profit of 100 billion yen ($942 million) in the financial year through March, a turnaround from a loss of 197.5 billion yen posted this year due to the coronavirus crisis and a slump in oil prices.

The annual forecast is based on an assumption that the pandemic will peak out during the April-September period, while it might take some time for the global economy to recover, the Japanese trading house said in a statement.

Marubeni, which trades everything from oil to corn, had booked a net loss for the year ended March 31, against a net profit of 230.9 billion yen a year earlier.

In late March, the company warned a loss of around 190 billion yen for the year just ended, as the coronavirus outbreak drove an unprecedented oil price slide and drop in other commodities.

International benchmark oil prices have more than halved since the start of the year, while copper prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) lost about 16% and S&P GSCI grains index dropped 12%.

The major benchmark commodity index, the Thomson Reuters Core Commodity Index, plunged 35% so far this year, hitting its lowest since at least 1994.

$1 = 106.1800 yen Reporting by Yuka Obayashil, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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