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Ethanol Exports Skyrocket in November; DDGS Exports Set New Monthly Record

January 8, 2014


U.S. ethanol exports surged to 82.4 million gallons (mg) in November, with large volumes finding their way into new or emerging markets such as China, the Philippines, India, Tunisia, Panama, and Mexico, according to government data released this week. Total exports were up 54% from October, reaching the highest monthly level since March 2012. Imports slowed to a trickle in November, meaning the U.S. was a net ethanol exporter by the widest margin since February 2012. Through November, U.S. ethanol exports totaled 556.7 mg, implying a 2013 annual total of 607.3 mg. Canada was once again the leading importer of U.S. product, receiving 28.5 mg in November. The Philippines followed with an annual high of 14.0 mg, while India (8.1 mg), Brazil (4.3 mg), and Norway (4.3 mg) were other top destinations.  For the first time since 2002, a sizable volume of fuel ethanol was exported to China (3.5 mg). Similarly, Panama imported meaningful volumes of U.S. fuel ethanol (2.0 mg) for the first time since 1992. Tunisia (2.3 mg) and Mexico (1.7 mg) are other relatively new markets that imported U.S. product in November. November exports were divided amongst undenatured fuel ethanol (34.0 mg), denatured fuel ethanol (47.2 mg), and denatured and undenatured ethanol for non-fuel use (1.2 mg). Exports of undenatured fuel ethanol hit their highest level since the all-time record month of December 2011. Meanwhile, fuel ethanol imports dropped to 7.9 mg in November—the lowest since February 2012, when virtually no ethanol was imported. All of the imported product came from Brazil. Exports of distillers dried grains (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product from dry mill ethanol production—surged to a new monthly record in November, driven by unprecedented shipments to China. November DDGS exports totaled a record 1.08 million metric tons (mt), up 16% from October. China was the leading destination, bringing in 619,412 mt, or more than 57% of the total. Mexico (134,437 mt), Japan (35,152 mt), South Korea (34,547 mt), and Canada (34,465 mt) rounded out the top five markets for DDGS exports in November. Year-to-date exports stood at 8.72 million mt through November, implying an annualized total of 9.51 million mt—if realized, this would be a new annual record.