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U.S. Ethanol Exports Continue Upward Trend; DDGS Exports Remain Strong

November 14, 2013

           

U.S. ethanol exports totaled 54.0 million gallons (mg) in September, an 8% increase over August (49.8 mg) and the highest volume in six months, according to government data released Thursday. Canada continued as the largest recipient, followed by the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines. Year-to-date U.S. exports through September stood at 419.6 mg, implying an annualized total of 559.5 mg. Meanwhile U.S. ethanol imports slumped to 44.8 mg in September – almost half the volume imported in August. As a result, the United States bounced back as a net exporter for the first time in four months. September's ethanol trade balance was a far cry from last year, when the United States was a net importer of 43 mg. Exports of denatured ethanol for fuel use were 36.2 mg in September, up 5% from August (34.5 mg). While Canada again grabbed the largest share (81%) of denatured product (29.4 mg), its dominance in the market waned as Jamaica (2.7 mg), the UAE (2.2 mg) and Peru (1.7 mg) stepped into the market with significant volumes. Undenatured fuel ethanol exports totaled 16.7 mg, a 17% increase over August (14.4 mg). The Philippines was the top customer for undenatured product in September (5.4 mg), followed by the UAE (3.5 mg), Norway (3.1 mg) and Mexico (2.1 mg). Denatured and undenatured ethanol exports for non-fuel, non-beverage use registered at 1.1 mg. U.S. ethanol imports for September dropped 43% to their lowest level in a quarter, down from 78.4 mg in August to 44.8 mg. All of the imports were sourced from Brazil as undenatured ethanol. Year-to-date imports stood at 374.5 mg through September, implying an annual total of 499.3 mg—well below the 666 mg of imports envisioned by EPA for compliance with the advanced biofuel standard. Year-to-date, the United States has been a net exporter of 45.1 mg in 2013. By comparison, net exports for January-September 2012 were 272.9 mg. U.S. distillers dried grains (DDG) exports added up to 787,372 metric tons (mt), sliding 25% from the August record but holding at the third highest volume in over two years. China held on to its prime status as the top U.S. customer, receiving 459,488 mt (59% of total DDG exports). Mexico (81,744 mt), Ireland (38,412 mt), Canada (27,928 mt), and Turkey (27,498 mt) rounded out the top five destinations. Year-to-date DDG exports stood at 6.71 million mt through September, implying an annualized total of 8.94 mmt—this would rival the DDG export record set in 2010.