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U.S. Ethanol Exports Stable; Elevated DDG Exports Foreshadow Record-Breaking Totals

December 9, 2013


October ethanol shipments totaled 53.1 million gallons (mg), down 2% from September but above the year-to-date average according to recently released government data. Canada was again the top destination (receiving 57% of U.S. exports), followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Philippines. Year-to-date U.S. exports through October stood at 472.7 mg, implying an annualized total of 567.2 mg. Meanwhile U.S. ethanol imports in October trickled in at the lowest level in 18 months, totaling just 13.1 mg. As a result, the U.S. saw its widest margin of net exports since May 2012. Exports of denatured ethanol for fuel use remained generally flat from September at 36.1 mg. Exports of denatured product to Canada totaled 25.1 mg (69% of total) while the UAE nabbed 7.0 mg (19%). Peru (1.7 mg) and first-time importer Tunisia (1.6 mg) captured most of the remaining share of U.S. denatured product. Undenatured fuel ethanol exports totaled 14.6 mg, a 13% decrease from September (16.7 mg). The Philippines was again the top customer for undenatured product in October (4.8 mg), followed by Sweden (3.4 mg), Norway (3.2 mg) and Mexico (2.2 mg). Denatured and undenatured ethanol exports for non-fuel, non-beverage use vaulted to 2.3 mg – the highest in over a year – with Mexico alone importing 1.6 mg of undenatured product for non-fuel use in October. Ethanol imports fell 71% from September, as Brazil shipped 13.1 mg to the U.S., while Sweden sent a scant 505 gallons of undenatured ethanol. Year-to-date imports through October totaled 387.6 mg, implying an annual total of 465.1 mg. Year-to-date, the U.S. has been a net exporter of 85.1 mg in 2013. By comparison, net exports for January-October 2012 were 254.2 mg. Exports of distillers dried grains (DDG) – the animal feed co-product manufactured by dry mill ethanol plants – climbed 19% from September to 935,370 metric tons (mt), the second highest volume in over two years. China was again the leading destination, receiving 566,954 mt (61% of total U.S. DDG exports). Mexico (159,862 mt), Canada (29,521mt), South Korea (23,335 mt) and Ireland (21,999 mt) rounded out the top five partners. Year-to-date DDG exports stood at 7.64 million mt through October, implying an annualized total of 9.17 mmt that would topple the 2010 DDG export record.