Bunge to close soybean processing plant

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Supply and demand North america Soybean Bunge

Bunge North America has announced that it will close its soybean processing facility in Danville, Illinois on April 23 due to lack of demand for soybean oil and meal and lower soybean supply.

The Danville closure is the latest in a line of soybean processing closures for the company in North America. In November 2008, Bunge discontinued its soybean crush operations at Marion, Ohio, saying it was “adjusting capacity to more efficiently meet market demand”, ​and a year earlier, it discontinued crush operations at its Marks, Mississippi plant citing “lack of supply of local beans”.

Vice president and general manager of Bunge Oilseed Processing Mark Van Emon said in a statement: "We are faced with a soybean processing market that has more capacity than required and to operate all of our soybean processing assets as efficiently as possible, we made the difficult decision to discontinue soy operations at Danville.”

The company’s soybean elevator and corn processing facilities at the site will remain open, it said. Bunge expects about 100 jobs to be lost as a result of the closure.

The company said that all existing meal and oil contracts will be honored, as well as its existing contracts with soybean and corn producers.

An abundance of other vegetable oils on the market, such as canola and sunflower, has eaten away at market share for soybean oil over the past two years in particular, and a shortage of supplies during the last months of 2008/09 caused difficulties for domestic crushing facilities.

Van Emon added: “As a long-time member of the Danville community, we are disappointed that we must end soybean processing but we are pleased that we will continue to operate the corn mill and serve local farmers as an elevator."

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