China and India helped ethanol exports accelerate in January to hit a record high for the month, according to Renewable Fuels Association analyst Ann Lewis.
American shippers rallied at the start of the year with ethanol exports surging 48% ahead of December volumes to 164.6 million gallons (mg). This marks a record-high for January exports. Three-quarters of shipments were destined for just five countries, with spikes in purchases by India and China sufficient to supplant Canada as our largest customers. India imported nearly ten times its December offtake, buying a record 53.2 mg. China boosted its imports by 81% to 22.7 mg—more U.S. ethanol imported by the country than in 2020 alone and its largest draw since Feb. 2018.
January was the first time in eight months that the U.S. had no ethanol imports.
U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS) also increased in January, up 9% from December but still 6% below year-ago levels. U.S. DDGS exports to Mexico perked up 18% to a ten-month high but shipments slowed to South Korea, Indonesia, and Vietnam.