The U.S. exported 55.0 million gallons (mg) of ethanol in December 2012, the highest monthly total since July, according to newly released government data. December’s shipments brought the 2012 annual total to 738.7 mg, the second-highest export total on record. Still, exports in 2012 were down some 38 percent over the record-setting export volumes in 2011. Further, net exports totaled just 183.7 mg, as the U.S. imported substantial volumes of sugarcane ethanol from Brazil in the second half of 2012.
Of the December total, 42 mg was denatured ethanol for fuel use, while 12.2 mg was undenatured ethanol intended for fuel use. Denatured and undenatured ethanol for uses other than fuel totaled roughly 800,000 gallons. Canada was the leading destination for exports in December, receiving 34.9 mg. The Netherlands followed with 4.6 mg. Brazil (3.8 mg), Sweden (3.3 mg), Finland (2.4 mg), and Peru (2.1 mg) were other top importers in December.
For the entire year, Canada was the top destination for U.S. ethanol exports, receiving 235.8 mg—almost one-third of total exports. The United Kingdom was second with 65.2 mg, while Brazil imported 59.5 mg. The Netherlands (39.7 mg), United Arab Emirates (31.5 mg), Mexico (27.4 mg) and Peru (26.7 mg) were other top importers of U.S. ethanol in 2012.
Meanwhile, December ethanol imports totaled 82.8 mg. Brazil shipped 58.3 mg directly to the U.S., while the remainder came through the CBI countries of Jamaica (13.2 mg), El Salvador (6.7 mg), and Costa Rica (4.6 mg).
Total imports for 2012 tallied at 555 mg, with 459.2 mg (83 percent) coming directly from Brazil. Imports via Jamaica totaled 54.6 mg, while imports via El Salvador were 25 mg. Imports via Costa Rica for 2012 were 8.5 mg, while limited quantities were imported via Guatemala and Nicaragua.