By Julie Ingwersen and Michael Hirtzer
CHICAGO, Sept 26 Several soy processing plants
in the western U.S. Midwest were idled amid a slow start to the
soybean harvest, trade and company sources said on Thursday.
Two Cargill Inc plants, located in Kansas City,
Missouri, and Wichita, Kansas, were shut down, along with an
Archer Daniels Midland facility in Deerfield, Missouri,
the sources said.
Separately, a Bunge Ltd soy processor in Emporia,
Kansas, that has been closed since the spring will restart next
month, after it receives enough freshly harvested beans to
crush, a spokeswoman said.
The Kansas City soy plant was closed Sept. 19-22, according
to a Cargill website, while the sources said the Wichita and
Deerfield plants are idled now.
This week's schedule for the Kansas City plant was "to be
determined," the website said.
An ADM spokeswoman had no comment. A spokesman for Cargill
could not be reached for comment.
The U.S. soy-crushing pace has slowed in recent months
following a harvest shortfall last year due to the historic
Midwest drought. In addition, strong export demand from China
helped drain old-crop U.S. soy inventories to a nine-year low
As a result, livestock and poultry producers, exporters and
other buyers of soy products are anxiously awaiting fresh
supplies from the 2013 crop.
The current soybean harvest is later than normal following
widespread planting delays last spring. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture's weekly crop progress report showed the soybean
harvest was 3 percent complete as of Sept. 22, lagging the
five-year average of 9 percent.
The USDA said the Kansas soybean harvest was 1 percent
complete and Missouri's had not begun. A year ago the Kansas
harvest was 5 percent done and the five-year average was 2
percent, while Missouri's harvest was 4 percent done last year
and the five-year average was 2 percent.