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China's New Hope breaks into soybean crushing with Cargill

BEIJING, March 4 (Reuters) - Chinese agribusiness group New Hope plans to build its first soybean crushing plant in China's Hebei province in a joint venture with Cargill , its chairman Liu Yonghao said on Saturday.

New Hope and provincial state companies will own 51 percent of the project, which will have a daily capacity of 50,000 tonnes, while U.S. commodity merchant Cargill will hold the remaining 49 percent, he said at a briefing.

China is the world's top soybean buyer.

Liu has built New Hope from a small chicken farm into the country's top animal feed producer, with businesses extending to banking and property and annual sales topping 90 billion yuan ($13.83 billion).

(Reporting by Hallie Gu; Writing by Josephine Mason; Editing by Alexander Smith)