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  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

Increasing Demand Spurs ADM to Invest $350M to Build North Dakota’s First Soybean Crushing Plant

By Lynda Kiernan, Global AgInvesting Media


Rapidly growing demand from food, feed, industrial, and biofuel customers, including producers of renewable diesel, has driven Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) to announce it is investing $350 million to build the first dedicated soybean crushing plant and refinery in North Dakota.


“ADM’s commitment to preserving and protecting our planet’s resources stretches from the farm gate to the food on our tables and the renewable fuel we put in our vehicles,” said Greg Morris, president of ADM’s Ag Services & Oilseeds business. “This exciting new project allows us to partner with North Dakota farmers to further advance the role of agriculture in addressing climate change through the production of low carbon feedstocks for products such as renewable diesel.”

Strategically located in Spiritwood, North Dakota - a major soybean producing region - the crushing and refining complex will include state-of-the-art automation technology supporting a processing capacity of 15,000 bushels of soybeans per day.


Expectations are that construction of the facility will be completed in time for the 2023 harvest, and that once operational, ADM’s global logistics network will enable the facility to access both domestic and global markets for soybean oil and meal.


“We’ve been working to bring this new soybean crushing facility to North Dakota and met with key leaders from ADM over two years ago to develop this plan,” said Senator John Hoeven. “We’re pleased that this new plant will be open in 2023, as it will provide a significant new market for North Dakota soybean growers, while creating good jobs and economic growth.”


So far this year, the U.S. has set a record pace for soybean crushing, as demand, particularly from China, intensifies, and soybean stocks diminish.


The country’s oilseed processors crushed 5,895,360 tons, or 197 million bushels of soybeans in January 2021, up 101,127 tons, or 2 percent from December 2020 and compared with 5,663,403 tons (189 million bushels) a year before, reflecting the highest ever soybean crush for the month of January, according to the monthly Fats and Oils: Oilseed Crushings, Production, and Stock report issued March 1 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service.


From this crush, soybean cake and meal volumes for January 2021 total 4,353,068 tons, up 3 percent over December 2020 and up 5 percent from 4,144,355 tons in January 2020. More notably - of this cake and meal, 58,434 tons were allocated for edible protein products - an increase of 29 percent over December 2020, and an increase of 6 percent over a year before.


This demand for vegetable oil, strong margins for soybeans, and increasingly tighter stocks has translated into a healthy performance for ADM which saw its quarterly profit jump by 76 percent, revenue from its Nutrition business jump by 35.5 percent year-on-year to more than $1.5 billion, and its Ag Services & Oilseeds business post a record quarter in Q1 2021.


“ADM has an unparalleled opportunity to lead our industry in this area, and thanks to our extensive operational and commercial expertise, we are well-positioned to add these shovel-ready projects to our network and meet the fast-growing needs of customers worldwide for lower carbon, plant-based solutions,” said Morris.


However, this North Dakota project is not ADM’s only iron in the soybean crushing fire. The company has also announced a further $25 million investment to expand its refining and storage capacity at its crush and refining facility in Quincy, Illinois.

This project, which is expected to be completed by Q1 2022, will bring the company’s refining capabilities in line with its crush capacity on-site, and will allow for greater flexibility in meeting the needs of its food, biofuel, and industrial customers.


- Lynda Kiernan is editor with GAI Media, and is managing editor and daily contributor for Global AgInvesting’s AgInvesting Weekly News and Agtech Intel News, as well as HighQuest Group's Oilseed & Grain News. She can be reached at lkiernan@globalaginvesting.com.


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Lynda Kiernan-Stone is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan-Stone at lkiernan-stone@highquestgroup.com.