The high volume of ethanol exports plummeted in May by 58 percent from April’s totals. U.S. producers exported just 17.1 million gallons in May, while they exported 40.8 million gallons in April and 48.3 million gallons in March. Despite the drop, May exports were still above the five-year monthly average. In addition, to date in 2010, the U.S. has exported 25 percent more product than in the entire 2009 calendar year.
Additionally, at 141.4 million gallons, 2010 U.S. exports are still on track for a record year. In 2008, exports totaled 157.8 million gallons and in 2007, they were 150.2 million gallons. Prior to this year, it is believed that the highest export year was in 1995 when 197.5 million gallons of denatured and undenatured ethanol were exported. Since January 2005, the monthly average for total ethanol exports has been 10.2 million gallons.
“Fluctuations in unpredictable ethanol export markets highlight the need for America to focus more attention on increasing its consumption of domestically produced ethanol,” said RFA President Bob Dinneen. “America must stop dragging its feet and move aggressively to open up more domestic markets to ethanol. This starts with a full and complete waiver for the use of E15 by EPA. Bifurcating the market or limiting E15 use by vehicle model year aren’t real solutions. Exports and the use of mid and higher level ethanol blends, such as E30 or E85, are important markets for ethanol, but they cannot expand fast enough to absorb increasing production and use of ethanol as called for by federal law. It is time for the Obama Administration to back up its rhetoric with action and increase the amount of ethanol American consumers can use.”
The past month, the majority of denatured ethanol exports, topping out at 11.2 million gallons and down from 24.9 million gallons in April, went to Canada and the Netherlands. After importing significant quantities in April, Jamaica, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and United Arab Emirates (UAE) imported virtually no U.S. denatured ethanol in May.
Undenatured, non-beverage ethanol exports totaled just 5.9 million gallons in May. Top destinations were the Netherlands, UAE and Mexico. Those three nations accounted for more than 95% of U.S. exports of undenatured, non-beverage product.