By the end of December, construction will wrap up on a major expansion of the Panama Canal. The bigger canal will give exporters the opportunity to more efficiently move products, such as U.S. soybeans, to end users in China and other countries.
It is crucial for U.S. soybean farmers for exports to be efficient, especially to a country like China, according to soy checkoff farmer-leader Larry Marek from Iowa.
“Nearly one-fourth of our soybeans grown in the United States gets exported to China,” he said. “They have a rapidly changing economy, and the people there are eating more meat, and they need soy as part of their diet for their livestock, as well as human consumption.”
In order to take full advantage of the expanded canal, U.S. ports will need to maintain depths of 45 to 50 feet to accommodate the larger ships that will be able to use the canal. These larger ships can hold an additional 500,000 bushels of soybeans per load, compared with current ships.
For more information on the importance of transportation for U.S. soy exports, visit www.UNITEDSOYBEAN.ORG.