A canal expansion project scheduled for completion in 2014 means volume moving through the Panama Canal will continue to increase. The program construction includes two new sets of locks — one on the Pacific and one on the Atlantic side of the canal — as well as the widening and deepening of existing navigational channels in Gatun Lake and the deepening of Culebra Cut.
But Panama is more than a mere passageway and could represent an untapped market for high-value finished products. If incomes continue to rise for the general population, high-value agriculture goods — food products — will move into the market.
“Panama did have access while the FTAs were pending, but it’s an advantageous agreement because now we can sell our premium products to a growing premium products market,” says Martin. “I don’t expect Panama to feed more livestock or for U.S. corn to have more access to livestock feed in Panama like I do in Colombia, but I expect high-value foods to move into Panama and we will support their economic growth.”