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U.S. Feedmakers Hoard Soybeans as Supplies Dwindle

Owensboro Grain in Kentucky resorted to holding soybeans on barges during peak of harvest

Soaring global demand for soybeans forced U.S. animal feed makers to hoard supplies this fall due to the fierce competition for their main ingredient, with some even turning to floating storage on river barges to thwart sales to exporters, reports Reuters.

The renewed demand pushed soybean prices to a four-year high.

Kentucky’s Owensboro Grain held soybeans on barges during the peak of harvest, a costly move due to charges for tying up the vessels next to its processing plant. But the floating storage was only a temporary solution as the quality of soybeans can quickly deteriorate if left in the open air.

“We cannot hold them too long out there,” Ronnie Edge, marketing manager, told Reuters. “We will do just enough to get us through to the next week.”

A Louis Dreyfus crushing plant in Claypool, IN, was lucky to finish an expansion of its facility that doubled its crop storage capacity - to 12 million bushels - just ahead of the harvest, a dealer said.

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