U.S. ethanol exports in August fell to their lowest level in 22 months, according to government data released yesterday. August exports totaled 50.2 million gallons (mg), down 21% from July and the lowest since November 2010. Canada was the leading destination for ethanol exports, receiving 35.6 mg. The Netherlands was the second-leading export customer in August, bringing in 8.9 mg, while Mexico ranked third with 3.5 mg. Together, the three countries accounted for nearly 96% of August shipments. Year-to-date ethanol exports stood at 540.2 mg at the end of August.
Exports of denatured ethanol for fuel use totaled 33.2 mg, while undenatured ethanol for fuel use tallied 12.1 mg. Trade data shows 4.3 mg of denatured ethanol exports for uses other than fuel (this is more than 10 times the amounts of non-fuel denatured ethanol exports over the past several months; it is unclear what caused the spike or whether it reflects a reporting error). Exports of non-fuel undenatured ethanol were less than 1 mg.
Meanwhile, the trade data shows ethanol imports of 109.8 mg in August (97.7 mg for fuel use), meaning the U.S. was a net ethanol importer for the first time this year. Brazil was the top source of ethanol imports, accounting for 91% of August shipments received by U.S. ports.
Exports of distillers grains also dropped to their lowest volume of the year in August, with 541,639 metric tons (mt) being exported. China was the leading importer with 161,689 mt, followed by Mexico (92,357 mt), Canada (48,581 mt), South Korea (45,419 mt), and Japan (30,519 mt). Year-to-date distillers grains exports total 5.15 million mt, indicating an annualized total of 7.73 million mt.