Cargill shutters Indiana port grain elevator

By Mark Weinraub

CHICAGO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Global commodities trader Cargill Inc closed its grain elevator in Portage, Indiana, on Tuesday, according to the company's web site.

The elevator, which handled soybeans, corn and wheat, borders Lake Michigan and has a storage capacity of 7.2 million bushels, according to the Grain and Feed Association of Indiana.

Minnesota-based Cargill could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday about why it decided to close the site.

Cargill's bids for corn and soybeans delivered to the elevator had been well below bids at nearby competitors in recent weeks, effectively shutting off movement of grain to the facility as it prepared for closing. It had not posted a bid for soft red winter wheat since August.

The Cargill facility for corn closest to the Portage site is located in Hammond, Indiana, about 19 miles away.

For soybeans, the closest Cargill facility is in Morris, Illinois, or Decatur, Michigan. Both are about 69 miles from Portage. The Decatur elevator also accepts wheat. (Additional reporting by P.J. Huffstutter; Editing by Mark Porter)