Cargill to idle soybean processing at North Carolina facility

by Jeff Gelski
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RALEIGH, N.C. — Factors associated with seasonal demand have led Cargill to decide to idle soybean processing activities at its facility in Raleigh later this spring. The elevator in Raleigh will continue to buy soybeans from farmers in North Carolina and surrounding states, said Don Camden, a regional manager for Cargill’s soybean processing business. Cargill’s plant in Fayetteville, N.C., and rail shipments into the region from other Cargill plants will serve soybean meal customers.

Demand for U.S. soybean processing has become more variable and seasonally driven, said Mark Stonacek, president of Cargill Grain & Oilseed Supply Chain. Among other factors, he cited a downturn in demand for soybean meal produced in the United States in the face of large bean crops in South America. Operating the Raleigh plant during spring and summer has become economically challenging.

“Cargill will continue to monitor the global situation and will consider restarting the plant if conditions change,” Mr. Stonacek said.

Cargill has 47 employees in Raleigh. Mr. Camden said 20 to 25 workers associated with soybean processing will be laid off and then may apply for openings at Cargill’s 12 other crush plants.

“This is a difficult decision because we have an excellent team of employees in Raleigh, where we have been in business since 1985,” Mr. Camden said. “The North Carolina market is very important to us, and we look forward to serving both crop producers and livestock industry customers through our remaining activities at Raleigh as well as through other Cargill facilities.”
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