After a big start to 2021, U.S. ethanol exports took a dive in February, dropping 38% after January’s volume set a record high for the month. Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) Senior Analyst Ann Lewis shared the numbers in RFA’s latest Trade Monitor report.
Exports were 101.7 million gallons (mg), with half destined for just three countries. However, exports spiked to South Korea, up 120% (11.9 mg) to 21.8 mg. This is the largest volume imported in more than two years and was a sufficient boost to make South Korea our top market in February. Exports to Canada remained steady at 18.5 mg, while India’s imports dropped 76% (40.4 mg) to 12.8 mg. U.S. ethanol exports to other larger markets softened as well, including Brazil (7.8 mg, -55%), Nigeria (5.0 mg, -44%), Colombia (4.9 mg, -51%), the Philippines (4.9 mg, -64%), and China (4.7 mg, -79%).
RFA also reports U.S. exports of dried distillers grains were down 15% lower in February compared to January, and 9% below year-ago levels, with volumes to Mexico down a third from January to a five-month low.