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Ethanol and DDGS Exports Are Steady in February

April 12, 2012


The U.S. exported 74.8 million gallons (mg) of ethanol (denatured and undenatured, non-beverage) in February, according to government data released today. February exports were just 2% below January 2012 exports, but 25% above year-ago (February 2011) levels. Year-to-date exports stand at 151.1 mg, indicating an annualized total of just over 900 mg for 2012. Notably, exports for the first two months of 2012 are 29% above the first two months of last year. Canada, the United Kingdom, Finland and Brazil were top destinations in February. Whereas the Census Bureau previously reported U.S. ethanol exports in two simple categories (denatured ethanol and undenatured ethanol, non-beverage use), it recently began reporting exports in four categories: denatured ethanol, for fuel use; denatured ethanol, for use other than fuel; undenatured ethanol, for fuel use; and non-beverage undenatured ethanol, for use other than fuel. It appears Census is still working out the kinks of this new reporting convention, as the January export figures were clearly miscategorized and some of the February data appear questionable. In any case, the data show February exports of denatured ethanol for fuel use totaling 39.9 mg. The United Kingdom was the leading importer of U.S. denatured ethanol, bringing in 11.7 mg in February. Peru (8.7 mg), the United Arab Emirates (6.7 mg), Finland (5.8 mg) and Brazil (4.2 mg) rounded out the top five. Undenatured ethanol for fuel use totaled 17.3 mg, according to the data. Brazil was tops with 5.2 mg, followed by Finland (4.5 mg), South Korea (2.7 mg), the Netherlands (2.3 mg), and Ghana (1.1 mg). This morning's data suggests the U.S. exported 17.3 mg of denatured ethanol for use other than fuel, with the lion's share (16.9 mg) going to Canada. Given Canada's historical importation of ethanol for fuel use, it seems unlikely that February denatured ethanol exports to Canada were strictly for uses other than fuel. Non-beverage undenatured ethanol exports for uses other than fuel were reported at 312,336 gallons. Exports of distillers grains (or DDGS), the animal feed co-product manufactured by ethanol dry mills, totaled 612,638 metric tons (mt) in February. That marks a 1% increase over January exports. Mexico (153,414 mt), China (149,768 mt), and Canada (55,146 mt) were the leading importers.