U.S. ethanol exports fell to their lowest level of the year in November, as shipments of denatured and undenatured (non-beverage) ethanol totaled 40.4 million gallons (mg), according to government data released today. The monthly total was down 25 percent from October and the lowest since November 2010. November exports of both ethanol and distillers grains reflect the difficult operating environment following last summer's historic drought. Still, year-to-date exports tallied 683.7 mg through November, indicating an annualized total of 745.8 mg for the 2012 calendar year. Shipments of denatured ethanol for fuel use totaled 31.8 mg, up slightly from October. Canada was again the leading destination for denatured product, receiving 28.6 mg — or 90 percent of the total. Peru (2.5 mg) and the Netherlands (660,636 gals.) followed. Exports of undenatured ethanol for fuel use plummeted to 7.3 mg, down 68 percent from October and the lowest since June 2011. Mexico was the leading recipient of undenatured ethanol for fuel use with 3.4 mg, followed by Finland (2.4 mg), Sweden (789,076 gals.) and Peru (779,901 gals.). Shipments of denatured and undenatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage use totaled 1.3 mg. Meanwhile, the data showed 83.2 mg of fuel ethanol imports in November. The majority of imports came directly from Brazil (63.9), while most of the remainder came via the CBI nations of Jamaica (10.1 mg) and El Salvador (9.2 mg). Through November, 2012 U.S. fuel ethanol imports stood at 466.5 mg. Exports of distillers grains also fell in November. Monthly shipments of DDGS totaled 518,396 metric tons (mt), down 16 percent and the lowest of the year. For the first time this year, Mexico (126,635 mt) was the top destination for DDGS exports. China, the long-running top recipient of U.S. DDGS, was second (92,925 mt), followed by Canada (42,984 mt), Japan (39,843 mt) and Thailand (35,169 mt). Year-to-date exports stood at 6.89 million mt, implying an annualized total of 7.52 million mt — if realized, this total would be slightly lower than 2011 exports of 7.64 million mt.