ADM oilseed crushing plant remains closed after fire

Following the recent fire at its Erith oilseed crushing plant in Kent, ADM is saying only that will resume operations as quickly as possible.

Deliveries of seed are being diverted mainly to coasters to move it to alternative crushing plants on continental Europe and traders supplying the plant do not expect it to be crushing again for at least another two weeks.         

The news comes in a week which also saw an explosion at a grain silo at the Port of Tilbury.

ADM statement

“Although the incident took place in the extraction area of the facility, the extractor itself was not damaged,” said a statement from the company.

“Our fire dosing systems ensured that there was no material damage to any of the major components of the plant. 

“Three contractors who were working at the site when the fire occurred were injured and taken to the hospital. All three have been released from the hospital.

“As soon as the investigation into the incident has been completed, we will begin repairs to the plant.

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“Our main concern is to ensure the health and safety of our colleagues, and will resume operations as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we will continue to meet our commitments to our valued customers through our extensive network of crushing plants across Europe.”

Oilseed rape market update

Trade was steady this week with any impact from the shutdown at Erith mitigated by the poor crop outlook and a weak pound which helped lift average July ex-farm prices slightly to average £322.50/t on Friday (3 July).

Around the regions, spot prices ranged from £315/t to £328/t ex-farm.  

Analyst Strategie Grains reduced its estimate for the EU27 and UK rapeseed crops combined to 16.54m tonnes, which would be the smallest crop since 2006.

Although economies are beginning to open up where coronavirus cases are reducing, re-imposed lockdowns in some US states are adding pressure to markets further afield too.

Concerns over global demand sent crude oil prices lower this week and world vegetable oil markets are nervous in case a second coronavirus wave takes hold, reducing food demand, said ADM in its weekending market report.

The most recent US Department of Agriculture report increased the US soyabean acreage by  300,000 acres, to 83.8mln acres when the trade had been expecting a rise of more than 1m acres. However, planting continues and there are plenty of empty ground to go at.

Chinese demands for Covid-19 free certification of US soyabean exports could put this market under pressure, warn traders.