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Government reports ranks Lake Charles port 49th-largest export market in nation in 2013

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LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana — The Port of Lake Charles was the 49th-largest export market in the United States last year, a new government report shows.

Merchandise exports in 2013 totaled $5.7 billion. Export growth from 2012 to 2013 was up $912.3 million from the $4.7 billion in merchandise exported in 2012, a 19.2 percent increase, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Bill Rase, the port's executive director, told the American Press (http://bit.ly/1lEyWnP) the port could jump to the top 20 export markets within the next five years because of the $77 billion worth of capital investments in the region.

"Every project that is slated to come online is an export project, so I expect us to leap to the top 10 in total tonnage and easily to the top 20 for export commodities," he said. "This is great news for the port and all the companies associated with the Calcasieu Ship Channel."

In five years, Rase said, the number of ships that transit the channel is expected to double.

The Port of Lake Charles made up 12.3 percent of Louisiana's exports in 2013, according to the report. Merchandise exported from Louisiana supported more than 282,000 jobs in 2013, Commerce Department data show.

The state's three major port cities — New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lake Charles — had record exports for the year, along with 23 other metro areas in the nation.

The New Orleans area ranked No. 8 in the nation with $30 billion in merchandise exports, up 23.3 percent from 2012. Baton Rouge ranked No. 45, with exports increasing 8 percent to $6.3 billion.


Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com

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