Japanese dairy firm Snow Brand Milk Products has said it plans to close a plant in Miyakonojo City, southern Japan, at the end of March 2004.

Snow Brand halted production of its own brand milk at the plant in 2002, but the facility currently produces dairy products for a local agriculture cooperative.

Snow Brand's contract with the cooperative expires in March and the plant will close thereafter.

Snow Brand said its earnings for the year to March would be little affected by the closure, reported Jiji Press.