The 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.