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Florida port, CSX play roles in corn imports from Brazil

A ship arrived at Port Manatee in Palmetto, Fla., on Nov. 19 and discharged more than 52,000 tons of Brazilian-produced corn, which was imported to help offset drought-stricken U.S. production shortfalls. The corn will be used for animal feed.

The shipment is the first of at least four planned by Interstate Commodities Inc. to help meet U.S. corn demand.

"We are looking forward to a busy working relationship with Port Manatee, as we plan to bring in approximately 10,000 truck-load equivalents of corn through the port," said Cliff Arfman, vice president-southeast for Interstate Commodities, in a prepared statement. "We have the capability to load rail shipments from Port Manatee throughout the U.S. via CSX Transportation."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated that this year's drought is impacting about 75 percent of U.S. corn production, and the effects are expected to linger into 2013, according to Interstate Commodities.

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