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How do I bcp null dates in Sybase?

Answer:

As long as there is nothing between the field delimiters in your data, a null will be entered. If there's a space, the value will be Jan 1, 1900.

You can use sed(1) to squeeze blanks out of fields:
sed -e 's/|[ ]*|/||/g' old_file > new_file

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