UPDATE 1-Chinese soybean crusher Sunrise files for bankruptcy as debts piled up

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BEIJING, July 23 (Reuters) - Chinese soybean crusher Shandong Sunrise Group has filed for bankruptcy after failing to repay its debts, according to a court filing, highlighting the problems facing the sector as demand for animal feed declines and credit remains tight.

The company registered the bankruptcy on Friday with a court in the county of Juxiang in Shandong province, according to a filing on a website run by China's Supreme Court. Shandong Sunrise did not answer calls for comment.

The bankruptcy follows falling demand for the animal feed produced by the crushing companies, which reduce the soybean seeds to oil and meal used for livestock. Pig farmers in China, the world's biggest pork consumer, have been culling their herds because of falling meat prices.

Crushers in Shandong, a major crushing hub, <JCI-SBMG-SHDNI> are losing almost 50 yuan ($7.40) per tonne of soybeans they process.

China's vast farm sector is also facing uncertainty as Washington's trade dispute with Beijing threatens to curb supplies of critical farm goods, including soybeans, and inflate costs.

Shandong Sunrise used to be one of the country's largest soybean importers, accounting for an estimated 12 percent of arrivals in 2014, but it has shrunk in size in recent years, according to traders. https://reut.rs/2uRwCkQ ($1 = 6.7581 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Meng Meng, Hallie Gu, Dominique Patton and Josephine Mason; editing by Richard Pullin and Christian Schmollinger)