CARGILL is set to close its crush plant at Narrabri in north west New South Wales by the end of November.
The company’s corporate affairs director for Australia/NZ/South Korea/Vietnam, Peter McBride, said the plant would run out of cottonseed in mid-October due to a reduction in affordable cottonseed supply brought on by ongoing drought in NSW.
The business would then proceed to safely shutdown the operations with closure expected by the end of November.
“Cargill has made the difficult decision to discontinue operations at the Narrabri plant for the foreseeable future as it has been unprofitable for a number of years due to the changing landscape of the cottonseed market and the high cost of food manufacturing in Australia, especially significant increases in energy costs,” Mr McBride said.
“Overtime the cottonseed market has changed significantly as whole cottonseed is now a highly valued feed product for both the domestic and international livestock markets.
“The economies of crushing cottonseed have also changed due to lower oil yields in the seed and a range of suitable domestic and international product alternatives for cottonseed oil, meal and hull.”
Mr McBride said while the majority of the 25 workers at the plant would be made redundant as a result of the ceasing of operations, the company would prioritise support for all affected employees and, where possible, offer redeployment options.
Cargill’s canola crushing facilities at Newcastle, NSW, and Footscray, Victoria, will continue to operate as normal.
Mr McBride said Cargill remained committed to its grain and oilseed business in Australia.
“We will continue to buy grain and oilseeds through our AWB/Grainflow network to support our domestic and international customers,” he said.