Bunge North America announced on 9 January that it was planning to build its first new processing plant in the USA in 15 years under plans to improve the productivity of its soyabean processing footprint in eastern United States.

Locations in Ohio and Indiana were under final consideration for the new facility.

"As we evaluate the long-term demand for soya products, we see the need to improve our asset footprint in the eastern USA, a key market," said Tim Gallagher, executive vice president, oilseed value chain, Bunge North America.

"A state-of-the-art facility in the Eastern Corn Belt that incorporates the latest productivity, safety and sustainability features combined with an increase in overall efficiency of our existing footprint will ensure Bunge can serve growing demand in the southeastern US feed and export markets."

Once site selection was complete, Bunge would have to obtain necessary approvals for the project, which was expected to go on line by the end of 2019.

Bunge North America is the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited, which supplies raw and processed agricultural commodities and specialised food ingredients to the animal feed, food processing, foodservice and bakery industries. Its subsidiaries operate grain elevators, oilseed processing plants, edible oil refineries and packaging facilities, and corn, wheat and rice mills in the USA, Canada and Mexico.