Ethanol Exports Rise in August

Cindy Zimmerman

U.S. ethanol exports were 35% higher in August, rising to 100.7 million gallons (mg), the largest volume since March, according to Renewable Fuels Association Senior Analyst Ann Lewis.

Shipments across the border to Canada accelerated 20% to a three-year high of 36.0 mg, equivalent to 36% of total U.S. ethanol exports, while sales to India declined by 20% to 10.5 mg. The mix of larger customers readjusted in August with Nigeria (9.8 mg, up from zero), Colombia (8.6 mg, up from zero), and Mexico (7.1 mg, +78%) rounding out the top five global markets. South Korea (5.9 mg, -24%), Peru (5.6 mg, +340%), and the Philippines (4.0 mg, -36%) were other sizable customers of U.S. ethanol. Brazil returned to the market after a two-month hiatus, but coming in at just 3% (1.9 mg) of the volume purchased in January. Global year-to-date exports of U.S. ethanol totaled 905.4 mg, or 10% less than this time a year ago.

Meanwhile, imports were up as well, as they have been all year. The U.S. imported 35.6 mg of cane ethanol from Brazil—nearly triple the volume entering the country in July. Year-to-date imports total 93.1 mg, or 11% more than this time a year ago.

Exports of the ethanol animal feed co-product dried distillers grains (DDGS) were down six percent in August to 1.02 million metric tons (mt). “While southbound shipments tracked 14% lower (138,817 mt), Mexico remained our chief DDGS market for the second consecutive month. Sales perked up in Vietnam (up 22% to 131,854 mt) but scaled back in South Korea (111,048 mt, -8%) and Turkey (80,288 mt, -44%). A record 61,492 mt U.S. DDGS shipped to New Zealand, while other larger markets included Indonesia (60,061 mt), China (50,717 mt—the largest exports in more than three years), Thailand (42,183 mt), Ireland (40,842 mt), and Canada (40,001 mt). Worldwide U.S. DDGS exports for the first eight months of the year were 7.08 million mt—trailing 3% behind last year at this time.”

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