Cargill suspends shifts at Kansas beef plant after explosion

(File photo by Dave Bedard)

Chicago | Reuters — Cargill said Thursday it had suspended some shifts at its Dodge City, Kansas beef-packing plant after an explosion injured two employees.

Cargill spokesman Daniel Sullivan said the company expects the facility to be fully operational soon and that it would meet all it customer commitments. The company is investigating the cause of the accident at a stand-alone building on the site, he said.

Livestock analyst Cassie Fish said the explosion was at a building that processes blood into blood meal, a feed additive, and not at the main part of the meat-packing plant that can process up to 6,000 head of cattle a day.

Jeff French, analyst with Top Third Ag Marketing, said CME live cattle and feeder cattle futures were pressured by the news initially.

Feeder cattle futures later pared losses and nearby live cattle futures turned higher. A fire in August at a Tyson Foods slaughterhouse — about 100 km west of Dodge City, near Holcomb, Kansas — sent margins for the U.S. beef industry to a record high.

— Reporting for Reuters by Julie Ingwersen and Karl Plume.

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