Null Elements in Apache XMLBeans

If the element is specified in a schema, whether the nillable attribute is set to true or not, setting the text to null sets the nil attribute to true.

Otherwise, you need to insert the nil attribute with the cursor:

cursor.insertAttributeWithValue(new QName("http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance", "nil"), "true");

http://xmlbeans.apache.org/docs/2.0.0/guide/conNavigatingXMLwithCursors.html

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