December Ethanol Exports Surge

According to a blog from Geoff Cooper, senior vice president for the Renewable Fuel Association (RFA), U.S. ethanol exports did well in December 2015 with 81.7 million gallons (mg) of product exported, 39 percent higher than November 2015. Canada was the top destination receiving 21.3 mg followed by Oman (13.4 mg), China (10.6 mg), the Philippines (8.8 mg), and the Netherlands (8.8 mg). U.S. ethanol exports totaled 836 mg in 2015—identical to the 2014 final tally according to recent report from RFA that includes details on top export destinations, shifts in the marketplace, ethanol import volumes, the value of exports, and other key data regarding U.S. ethanol trade in 2015.

Monthly US Ethanol Exports and ImportsDenatured fuel ethanol exports totaled 50.3 mg in December, the highest monthly total of the year and up 57 percent from November. At 19.3 mg, Canada was again the leading importer of denatured product. December exports of undenatured fuel ethanol tallied at 28.6 mg, up 18 percent from November. The Philippines (8.8 mg), Brazil (6.4 mg), the Netherlands (4.5 mg), Belgium-Luxembourg (2.6 mg), and Mexico (2.2 mg) were the top five markets for undenatured product in December.

U.S. fuel ethanol imports fell to 9.4 mg in December, less than half of the November import volume. Total imports of fuel ethanol finished the year at 93.2 mg, up slightly from 2014. Brazil represented more than 99 percent of the December imports with the remaining imports coming from Germany.

Exports of U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product manufactured by dry mill ethanol plants increased slightly in December, with 988,356 metric tons (mt) of outbound shipments. That was up 5 percent from November, but still well below monthly export levels recorded from May through October. DDGS exports finished the year at 12.55 million mt, a new annual record.

China remained as the top market for U.S. DDGS exports in December, despite setting an 11-month low. China received 226,049 mt, down 20 percent from November and less than one-quarter of the DDGS volume imported as recently as July. However, other markets saw big increases including Mexico, South Korea, Canada, and Vietnam. For the full calendar year, China was the top market followed by Mexico.

Donnelly ‘Friend of Farmers’ for Support of Ethanol

in-corn-donnellyA U.S. senator’s support of ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard has garnered him the inaugural “Friend of Farmers” Award from the Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Growers Association. This news release says Sen. Joe Donnelly was recognized for his unwavering support of Indiana farmers’ policy efforts.

The Friend of Farmers Award was established by ICGA’s Board of Directors and ISA’s Membership and Policy Committee to recognize a public official at the state, federal, or local level who advocates for agriculture.

“Senator Donnelly has been among the top supporters of ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard of anyone in Washington,” said Mike Nichols, a farmer from Spencer County and president of the Indiana Corn Growers Association. “At a time when big oil is funneling millions of dollars to kill this law that increased demand for the corn we grow, reduces our dependence on foreign oil, and promotes rural economic development, Senator Donnelly has stood strong for Indiana corn farmers.”

Donnelly also led a charge in 2015 to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

“When the EPA overstepped its authority by regulating farm fields and roadside ditches, Senator Donnelly was one of the first to stand up for farmers and introduce legislation to stop this overreach,” said Jeanette Merritt, a farmer from Peru and chair of ISA’s Membership & Policy Committee. “Regardless of party, Senator Donnelly has been a bipartisan leader for Indiana farmers.”

Donnelly says working on behalf of agriculture is one of the most important parts of his job.

“Hoosier farmers are growing the food and fiber that drive our economy, strengthen our local communities, and help feed the world. As I’ve always said, I’m the hired help and I’m committed to listening to Hoosier farmers and working together for commonsense, bipartisan solutions that promote agriculture,” said Donnelly. “I am honored to receive the inaugural Friend of Farmers award, and will continue working on behalf of all Hoosier farmers and our agriculture community.”

Phibro Animal Health on Ethanol and FSMA

PhibroEthanol performance and animal health go hand in hand at Phibro Animal Health Corporation, which is why the revised FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations are an important focus for the company right now.

Phibo Animal Health Senior Vice President for scientific and regulatory affairs Richard Coulter says many ethanol producers are concerned about what impact the new regulations have on their plants and the distillers grains by-products they produce that are used for animal feed. “We see a lot of confusion at the moment in producers looking to adopt FSMA regarding the FDA’s approach to antimicrobial use for controlling bacterial contamination in ethanol production,” said Coulter in an interview with Domestic Fuel. “The reason that confusion is arising is that the FDA simultaneously has another initiative, Guidance 209, involving veterinary medicine and the use of antibiotics in food animals.”

phibro-coulterGuidance 209 requires that no antimicrobials may be used after the end of 2016 in food animals without the specific authorization of a veterinarian. “So a number of ethanol producers have thought that since they’re making ethanol, and since they’re making distillers grains, and distillers grain is an animal’s feed, that they may need a veterinarian to write them a prescription or a veterinary feed directive to allow them to use antimicrobial products in ethanol, but that’s not true,” says Coulter, explaining that Guidance 209 relates only to veterinary drugs.

Ethanol plants use antimicrobials such as the Phibro Ethanol Performance group product Lactrol to reduce bacterial contamination during alcohol fermentation and Coulter says regulations are very clear that the use of most antimicrobials in ethanol production are still authorized as safe under the new FSMA regulations.

“Lactrol has a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) designation, so it may be used in ethanol, and when its used in accordance with the label it is GRAS and the distillers grain that arises from that ethanol production may be used in animals with no impact from FSMA,” Coulter explained. “The issue that many producers are concerned about is that if Lactrol is used in ethanol production to control bacterial contamination, would there be unacceptable residues or unhealthy or harmful dangerous resides of Lactrol that would persist into the distillers grains that would cause a hazard to animals or food that they would produce, and the answer is no.”

Learn more in this interview: Interview with Richard Coulter, Phibro Animal Health

#Ethanol Exports Steady as She Goes

growth-exportsThe U.S. ethanol industry exported 836 million gallons of ethanol worth $1.8 billion in 2015, according to a new summary of ethanol trade statistics released by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). The final tally for 2015 was identical to the 2014 export total.

The RFA publication, which draws data from several U.S. government entities, offers a succinct overview of U.S. ethanol export and import trends in 2015 and prior years. RFA’s new statistical summary will be distributed to attendees of the upcoming National Ethanol Conference (NEC), including prospective ethanol importers attending the International Buyer Program (IBP).

The RFA report finds that U.S. ethanol made its way to all six inhabited continents in 2015, reaching more than 75 countries. The top five countries receiving U.S. ethanol last year included Canada, Brazil, the Philippines, China, and South Korea. Notably, China emerged in 2015 as a leading destination for U.S. ethanol, and total exports to Asia are up 1,515 percent over 2012. While U.S. ethanol exports had a strong showing in 2015, imports of ethanol continued to sag. The United States imported just 93 million gallons of ethanol last year, with more than one-third entering through California ports.

“Ethanol’s value as an octane booster was in the global spotlight in 2015. Even with falling crude oil prices, ethanol remained the lowest-cost—and cleanest—source of octane in the world,” said RFA president and CEO Bob Dinneen, who adds that expanding export markets for ethanol in 2016 is a priority for the industry. “With EPA failing to enforce the Renewable Fuel Standard volumes established by Congress, we must continue to aggressively seek new market opportunities around the world.”

The 2016 National Ethanol Conference being held Feb. 15–17 in New Orleans will help in that effort by serving as host to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program (IBP). “The RFA is excited about participating in the IBP, and for the opportunity the program provides to create a pathway that connects domestic ethanol producers with international markets,” said RFA board chairman Randall Doyal, RFA Board of Directors Chairman. “By providing a forum to establish these important business-to-business relationships, the NEC will serve as the premier destination for U.S. ethanol producers who are looking for opportunities to promote their products on the world stage.” Prospective ethanol buyers from Brazil, India, Mexico, Peru, and the Philippines are expected to attend.

More information about the NEC can be found at NationalEthanolConference.com.

ACE #Ethanol Ready to Soar into DC

ace16-flyinMembers of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) are getting ready to soar into Washington, DC this year for their annual legislative fly-in. The 8th annual ACE fly-in will be held on April 13-14, with the Washington Court on Capitol Hill serving as the host hotel for the event.

“The most persuasive and effective spokespeople for our industry are real people, whose everyday life experiences and authenticity illustrate how the decisions made in Washington, DC impact their businesses and communities,” said ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings. “Given how much is at stake for biofuels in 2016 between the election, RFS implementation challenges, and regulatory hurdles impacting consumer access to E15, flex fuels, and the clean octane in ethanol, we encourage supporters to join us for this important event.”

Fly-in registration information is available at this link on the ACE website.

RFA: Cruz In But Ethanol Not Out

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) may have won in Iowa last night, but according to the Renewable Fuel Association (RFS), ethanol is not out. RFS President and CEO Bob Dinneen said that his win has created a narrative that presidential candidates campaigning in the state no longer have to voice support for ethanol or the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Dinneen said this is not the case.

“The narrative comrfalogo1ing out after last night’s Iowa caucus that the domestic ethanol industry is somehow on the ropes is false,” said Dinneen. “Many people seem to have forgotten that, in the run-up to last night’s caucus vote, though Sen. Cruz stated he was opposed to the RFS he also expressed support for ethanol as a fuel. In fact the senator has discussed the need to provide American consumers better access to ethanol fuels like E25 or E30, stating that they could prove to be quite popular with American consumers who are increasingly concerned about fuel economy. The senator also called ethanol an effective additive because it increases octane and decreases harmful tailpipe emissions. That doesn’t sound like someone to me who is writing off the domestic ethanol industry. That sounds to me like someone who is just being true to his no-mandates of any kind philosophy.”

Dinneen added, “Moreover, pundits anxious to write off ethanol’s potential currency in Iowa should note that more than 85 percent of the votes cast in Iowa last night were in support of candidates who continue to champion the RFS.”

Cruz Takes Iowa Despite #RFS Campaign

America's Renewable Future logoSen. Ted Cruz of Texas finished a strong first in the Iowa caucuses, despite heavy campaigning against him by the ethanol industry and even Governor Terry Branstad saying it would be a “big mistake for Iowa to support him.” Still, America’s Renewable Future, headed by Branstad’s son Eric, took a positive tone on the caucus results, noting that 100% of Democrats and “more than two-thirds of Republicans are caucusing for a pro-ethanol, pro-RFS candidate.”

“We feel good about our results. The vast majority of our candidates and the vast majority of caucus-goers realize the economic, national security, and environmental benefits of the (Renewable Fuel Standard),” said Eric Branstad. “And even though Sen. Cruz’s position would be devastating to our economy and tens of thousands of Iowans’ livelihoods, even he, who has accepted more donations from oil than any other candidate and is personally invested in oil companies, claims that he’s pro-ethanol and wants to eliminate oil subsidies. That’s a sure sign how important the RFS and ethanol are.”

trump-iowaDonald Trump was “honored” that he placed second in the Monday caucuses in Iowa and expressed his love for the state during his speech to supporters last night, with a parting note that he could become a farmer.

“Iowa, we love you, we thank you, you’re special,” said Trump. “We will be back many, many times – in fact, I think I may come here and buy a farm – I love it!”

Listen to Trump’s remarks here: Donald Trump after Iowa Caucuses

GOP Debate Spotlights Cruz Views on #Ethanol

debate-cruzWith the Iowa caucuses coming up on Monday, agriculture and renewable fuels finally got some attention in the Republican debate last night, as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was asked about his position on the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“We should be developing oil and gas and coal and nuclear and wind and solar and ethanol and biofuels but I don’t believe that Washington should be picking winners and losers,” said Cruz during the debate. “But I don’t believe Washington should be picking winners and losers and I think there should be no mandates and no subsidies whatsoever,” adding that his tax plan includes eliminating subsidies for oil and gas. He said it is “not true” that he opposes ethanol and noted Rep. Steve King (R-IA) “perhaps the fiercest defender of farmers” in Iowa supports him.

Listen to Cruz here: Sen. Cruz on RFS and ethanol

iowa-cornHowever, the senator’s words got him no love from Iowa Corn Growers president Bob Hemesath, a farmer from Decorah, who urges people in Iowa to “support a candidate who supports the RFS.”

“Ted Cruz claims that he supports ethanol, he does not support the RFS,” said Hemesath during a conference call this morning. “We can’t afford to let the ethanol industry to be taken away from us by a president who doesn’t support the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

Listen to Hemesath’s comments here: Iowa Corn Growers president Bob Hemesath

Ethanol Report on Media, Politics and the RFS

ethanol-report-adWith the Iowa caucuses coming up February 1, the Hawkeye State has been inundated with both candidates and reporters, and ethanol has become a topic for mainstream media to report about, often inaccurately. In this Ethanol Report, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen discusses the inaccurate terms being used to describe the RFS, urges the media and voters to do independent research, and gives his thoughts on the views of Republican candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Ethanol Report on Media, Politics and the RFS

#RFS Campaign Fact Checks from @EthanolRFA

rfalogo1Ethanol has been in the spotlight as a presidential campaign issue with the Iowa caucuses just around the corner, but the Renewable Fuels Association is concerned about some of the misconceptions that have been tossed around in the discussion so they have issued a one-page fact sheet to correct some of that with both candidates and the media.

First – there is no “corn ethanol subsidy.”The Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (also known as the “blender’s tax credit”) expired five years ago in 2011. Further it was gasoline blenders — not ethanol producers — who received a 45 cent per gallon tax credit for each gallon of ethanol blended. The Small Ethanol Producer Tax Credit also expired in 2011.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is not a “subsidy.”The RFS is not a tax incentive or subsidy in any way, shape, or form. The RFS has absolutely no impact on the federal budget or tax revenues. Rather, the RFS is a program that guarantees lower-carbon biofuels will have access to a fuel market that is overwhelmingly and unfairly dominated by petroleum.

There is also no such thing as an “ethanol mandate.”The RFS does not mandate the use of corn ethanol or any other type of ethanol for that matter. Rather, the RFS requires that oil companies blend increasing volumes of renewable fuels, without specifying the type of renewable fuel. In fact, oil companies may meet their RFS obligations by blending and marketing biogas, renewable diesel, renewable jet fuel, biobutanol, biodiesel, and a host of other renewable fuel options. While a wide variety of renewable fuels are being produced today, ethanol has been the highest-volume and lowest-cost renewable fuel available to meet RFS requirements.

Read more here.

RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen urges members of the media to contact the RFA if they have questions about ethanol or the RFS. “Unfortunately the media has been perpetuating a lot of the misinformation about the ethanol industry as they cover the presidential candidates,” said Dinneen. “There are two sides to every story and if reporters have questions, or need further clarification on any ethanol-related issues, we are ready and available to assist them.”