Port of Charleston could boost soybean exports

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A deeper channel at the Port of Charleston could help to boost South Carolina soybean farmers' exports.

Soybean demand is growing, particularly in Asia and the Middle East, and a deepening of the Port's channel could help to increase soybean shipments out of Charleston.

Before the channel work can begin, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study is required; right now, the Port is looking for government funding for the study.

S.C. farmers have acknowledged the growing soybean demand; it's estimated in a U.S. Department of Agriculture report that they are expected to plan 510,000 acres of soybeans this year. The crop is expected to earn approximately $142 million, compared to 2010's $120 million.

So why would the deeper channel be necessary? To accommodate those big cargo ships that would transport the soybeans. The channel-deepening project is estimated to cost $300 million.

For more information about the project and what's being done to fund it, head over to the Charleston Regional Business Journal's report.

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