Ethanol and grain trade organizations are urging President Donald Trump to put America first and address “China’s recent implementation of protectionist trade barriers that are shutting out U.S. exports of ethanol and distillers dried grains (DDGS).”
The U.S. Grains Council (USGC), Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy sent a letter to the president this week calling his attention to China’s recent imposition of anti-dumping duties and tariffs on U.S. ethanol and distillers feed co-products, which have had a negative impact on prices for both. “It is widely believed that raising these tariffs will put an immediate end to ethanol exports to China, erasing the significant progress our industry made in developing that market over the past several years,” wrote the groups to Trump. “[W]e respectfully ask that reform of these punitive ethanol tariff rates be included in any potential upcoming trade negotiations with China.”
China has grown to be a top export market for both U.S. DDGS and ethanol, accounting for over half of total U.S. DDGS exports in 2015, and ranking as U.S. ethanol industry’s third-largest export market at the end of 2016. Ethanol prices have fallen 15 percent since mid-December 2016 while DDGS prices are currently approximately 40 percent lower than in June 2016.