US food company Bunge North America, a unit of agribusiness Bunge, has said that it will idle production at its Marion, Ohio soybean processing facility until margins improve.

The company said that the current weak margin environment has been caused by declining demand for domestic soybean meal in the short term and a smaller than anticipated US soybean crop.

“While we continue to believe that long-term prospects for soybean processing in the US are attractive, this is the first time since 1989 that domestic consumption of soybean meal is running below the previous year. Factors adversely affecting demand for soybean meal include lower demand from the pork and poultry sectors, which have experienced production cutbacks. While world meal demand continues to grow, record soybean crops in South America have reduced the demand for US meal exports,” John E. Klein, president and CEO of Bunge North America, said.