Cargill to shut one of its UK rapeseed crushing plants

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Justin Paget
© GettyImages/Justin Paget

Related tags Rapeseed Cargill crushing

Cargill has announced it will close its rapeseed crushing plant in Hull in the UK by the end of the year, citing 'current market conditions'.

The US agribusiness giant has operated the facility since acquiring it from Croda Premier Oils in 1985. The plant closing will impact 36 jobs.

The Hull facility crushes rapeseed and specialty crops to extract crude oil and mid protein meal for use in food, biodiesel and animal feed.

The plant has a capacity of 750 metric tons of seed per day, processing around 420 metric tons of rape meal and 323 metric tons of rape oil on a daily basis. It also has facilities to out load to barge and export oil.

Lower UK rapeseed volumes

However, the local supply of rapeseed has been increasingly challenged​.

Rapeseed production remains low in the UK, which is leading to increased reliance on imports of oilseed, meal, and oil, according to a USDA FAS report​ from April this year.

The USDA publication forecast that total UK rapeseed oilseed production in MY2022/23 will reach 1.1 MMT; the planting area for MY2022/23 will increase slightly but is still close to the 20-year low of MY2021/22 due to the loss of pesticides, continued yield issues, and unstable costs.

Warnings had been made in 2020 about the possibility of a plant shutting if domestic production continued at such low rates, according to Farmers Weekly​.

UK arable farmers are now assessing the risk of starting a rapeseed crop given the level of market volatility that exists, as per the USDA report.

Cargill also operates a rapeseed crush plant in Liverpool in north-west England; it has soybean processing interests there as well, while ADM operates a similar facility in Erith in south-east England, and there is a smaller rapeseed processing facility in Warwickshire in the West Midlands region.

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