U.S. ethanol exports hit 138.0 million gallons (mg) in February, the third-highest monthly volume on record, according to government data released today and analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association. The February total trails only November 2011 (152.5 mg) and December 2011 (172.7 mg). Brazil was again the top customer, taking in more than one-third of all U.S. ethanol exports (50.8 mg, or 37%) but 14% less than record shipments to Brazil in January. Canada also decreased its purchases in February with 24.7 mg (18% of total exports) entering the country. Sales to India, however, nearly doubled from the prior month, increasing from 13.2 mg to 24.3 mg. The United Arab Emirates (10.1 mg) and the Philippines (7.0 mg) were other significant importers in February. Year-to-date exports stood at 259.8 mg, up nearly 70% from the year-ago total of 154.1 mg.
Exports of U.S. undenatured fuel ethanol rose by 14% over January to a record volume of 106.3 mg—nearly double the quantity shipped two months prior. About half of the undenatured product (50.8 mg) went to Brazil. India received a quarter of U.S. undenatured fuel ethanol (24.2 mg), up 118% from its January intake. The UAE (10.1 mg) and Philippines (7.0 mg) rounded out top markets for undenatured fuel ethanol. Denatured fuel ethanol exports in February experienced a slight uptick, rising 1% to 26.7 mg. Canada and Peru again accounted for the bulk of the market, receiving 23.6 mg (88%) and 3.0 mg (11%), respectively.
After falling to a multi-year low in January, U.S. exports of undenatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage uses jumped by 28% to 216,074 mg–still well below recent trends. Canada (26%), South Korea (22%) and Mexico (13%) were top customers. Sales of denatured ethanol for non-fuel use doubled over January levels to 4.8 mg. Nigeria (3.6 mg or 74%) bumped Canada (1.1 mg or 22%) as the top destination.
U.S. fuel ethanol imports continued to languish with only marginal volumes of foreign-produced fuel ethanol entering the U.S. In February, South Africa shipped 22,714 gallons to the U.S., up 3% from January. As a result, total ethanol imports so far this year are less than 50,000 mg but remain 13% higher than this point a year ago.
Exports of distillers grains—the animal feed co-product generated by dry mill ethanol plants—hit 1.07 million metric tons (mt) in February, the highest monthly total in six months and up 14% over January. Mexico expanded its purchases by 36% to 241,249 mt (23% of total U.S. exports), firmly holding on to its status as the top DDGS destination for a third straight month. Similarly, the Turkish market has been expanding, with a 21% increase in DDGS exports in February to 152,537 mt (14%). Thailand (71,838 mt), China (64,534 mt), Japan (62,562 mt), Indonesia (58,934 mt), and Spain (58,263 mt) were other top markets, and together with Mexico and Turkey, accounted for two-thirds of February exports. The remaining one-third of DDGS was distributed to 29 countries around the globe. Year-to-date exports stood at 2.01 million metric tons.