U.S. ethanol producers exported nearly 122 million gallons of ethanol in November, the third-largest monthly total in five years, according to the Renewable Fuels Association. Year-to-date exports as of November totaled 947.4 million gallons. Brazil was the top market again in November, followed by Canada and China.
Shipments to Brazil jumped to 50.9 mg in November, representing 42% of the monthly total and making Brazil the top destination for U.S. ethanol for the second straight month. Exports to Brazil have been rising steadily since May, when the country recorded 6 mg of imports from the U.S. Canada scaled back from the prior month as 24.8 mg (20% of U.S. ethanol exports) moved north of the border in November. Meanwhile China increased its purchases of U.S. ethanol, pulling in 19.8 mg (16%) and the country’s largest monthly volume since April. With over three-fourths of total exports heading to the Big Three, the remaining volumes headed to India (11.3 mg, or 9%), Peru (5.1 mg, or 4%), South Korea (3.9 mg, or 3%) and Mexico (2.8 mg, or 2%). With only one month left in the calendar year, it’s still a toss-up between Canada and Brazil as our largest customer for 2016 as each maintained 24% of U.S. ethanol exports, with China falling behind at 19%.