Ethanol Co-Product Exports Climbing

Cindy Zimmerman

Distillers grains exports are hitting new highs.

Exports of the ethanol co-product distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) hit a new record in July of 886,300 metric tons – which is more than was exported in the entire year in 2004. Total exports this year so far are 4.95 million metric tons, getting close to the total last year of 5.65 million.

Geoff Cooper, VP of Research with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), says 2005 was really the first year that DDGS exports started to take off. “2005 was the first year that we exported more than one million metric tons and the growth has been very rapid since then,” Cooper said. This year, the U.S. ethanol industry is on pace to export 8.5 million metric tons of DDGS, or about 28% of expected total DDGS production.

One third of the nation’s ethanol production ends up as DDGS, a high quality animal feed which can be used for everything from cattle to fish, and livestock producers in other countries have been quick to see the advantages of feeding the protein rich product to their animals. Cooper says the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), along with other companies and organizations, have been promoting those advantages to help exports grow.

“Education is what’s going to sell your product,” said Cooper. “And we are seeing the fruits of that work in dramatically increased exports.”

usgcThe upcoming Export Exchange, co-sponsored by USGC and RFA, is an effort to continue that dramatic growth in DDGS exports. “That conference is meant to bring potential buyers of US distillers grains to the United States to have them learn as much as they can about the ethanol industry and the co-products that come out of the ethanol industry,” he said. “The goal is just to get them up to speed on distillers grains and open their eyes to the fact that it is a very economically option for them in terms of feeding their animals.”

The Export Exchange is being held October 6-8 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel in Chicago, Ill. More information and registration is available on-line here.

Listen to or download my interview with Geoff Cooper here: Geoff Cooper Interview

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