UPDATE 4-Japan's Mitsubishi to post first net loss on metals and energy slump
* Expects first net loss since group was established in 1954
* Forecasts Y430 bln in writedowns for 2015/16
* Mitsubishi and Mitsui shares fall sharply (Adds president's comments and details)
By Yuka Obayashi and Osamu Tsukimori
TOKYO, March 24 (Reuters) - Japanese trading company Mitsubishi Corp will post its first ever annual loss for the year to March 31, it said on Thursday, hurt by huge writedowns from a slump in commodities.
Along with its domestic rivals and major international oil and mining companies, Mitsubishi Corp has been caught off guard by steep falls in the prices of goods from oil to iron ore as China's economic growth has slowed.
Mitsui & Co Ltd on Wednesday predicted its first net loss since after the slide in energy and metal prices forced it to book 260 billion yen ($2.31 billion) in writedowns, Sumitomo Corp more than halved its full-year profit forecast last month and Marubeni made 73 billion yen of writedowns for the April to December period .
Mitsubishi Corp's group net loss is now forecast at 150 billion yen, against a previous estimate for a 300 billion yen profit, as it plans to take an impairment loss totalling 430 billion yen, its biggest such loss.
That will mark the first consolidated net loss since the company was established in 1954, a spokesman said. Continuación...