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Agreement Could Send More Soy Exports Through Great Lakes, Eastern Canada

A former grain elevator, Silo No. 5, sits along the St Lawrence River in Montréal, Quebec. A new agreement reached between the Soy Transportation Coalition and the St Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation could see more U.S. beans exported along the waterway.

An agreement inked earlier this month could make it easier for soybean exports to reach destinations across the Atlantic by using the Great Lakes and St Lawrence River.  Soy Transportation Coalition executive director Mike Steenhoek explains the “Gateway Incentive Program” the group recently joined with the St Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.

Steenhoek says having more shipping options helps increase competition and reduce costs from over-reliance on single modes.  However, he suggests that a handful of exporters may find the St Lawrence more useful than continuing to use the Mississippi River.

Currently less than two percent of grain exports from the U.S. use the St Lawrence Seaway, compared to over 60 percent through the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, and 25 percent through the Pacific Northwest.

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