Cargill shut Narrabri cottonseed crush plant due to drought

CARGILL will close it’s crushing plant in Narrabri by the end of November, with the drought a major factor in the company’s decision to shut the operation after 46 years.

The plant has failed to turn a profit in the last four years and the increased cost of cottonseed, highly sought after by farmers as feed for their stock, was the final nail in the coffin.

Up to 25 jobs will be impacted. Most will be made redundant, but the company says it will redeploy employees where possible, with crushing plants in Newcastle and Footscray.

Cargill corporate affairs director Peter McBride said the plant will run out of cottonseed in mid-October, because of a reduction in affordable cottonseed supply due to the ongoing drought.

“[Cargill will] then proceed to safely shutdown the operation, with a likely closure date of plant is end of November,” he said.

“Over time the cottonseed market has changed significantly as a whole. Cottonseed is now a highly-valued feed product for both domestic and international livestock markets.”

Two employees will stay on to maintain the site, until Cargill decided what to do with it in the new year.

The company said it made “difficult decision” due to the “changing customer landscape in Australia and a very competitive beer market”.