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U.S. Ethanol Exports Top 620 Million Gallons in 2013 While Imports Fall, DDGs Exports Set New Record

February 6, 2014


U.S. ethanol exports totaled 621.5 million gallons (mg) in 2013, down 16% from 2012 but still the third-highest annual total on record, according to government data released today. Canada was by far the leading export market for the year, receiving 322 mg—or 52% of the total. The Philippines ranked second with 51.5 mg of imports, while Brazil (43.9 mg), United Arab Emirates (39.5 mg), and Mexico (23.6 mg) rounded out the top five. Of total export shipments, 67% were classified as denatured for fuel use, 31% were undenatured for fuel use, and 2% were denatured and undenatured for non-fuel, non-beverage purposes. Meanwhile, U.S. ethanol imports tallied 395.2 mg for the year, down 27% from 2012 and well below the levels envisioned by EPA (600-800 mg) for the purposes of meeting the Renewable Fuel Standard's (RFS) advanced biofuel requirements. Instead, those requirements were largely satisfied with domestically-produced biodiesel. Brazil accounted for 341.5 mg (86%) directly, while re-exports through the Caribbean Basin countries of Jamaica, Costa Rica and El Salvador accounted for the remainder. The U.S. was a net exporter of 226.3 mg in 2013, roughly a 24% increase over2012 net exports. December ethanol exports totaled 64 mg, down 21% from November but the second-highest monthly total of the year. Canada (29.2 mg) was the top destination in December, followed by Brazil (14.3 mg), India (4.9 mg), and the Philippines (3.7 mg). Peru, Tunisia, and South Korea were other leading markets in December. Imports slowed to a trickle in December, with just 4.5 mg coming in from Brazil. Exports of distillers grains—the animal feed co-product manufactured by ethanol dry mills—set a new record of 9.7 million metric tons (mmt) in 2013. The total was up 31% from 2012 and eclipsed the previous record of 9.0 mmt set in 2010. China was the leading destination for U.S. distillers grains, receiving 4.49 mmt, or 46% of the total. Mexico ranked second with 1.28 mmt, while Canada was third with 474,495 metric tons (mt). For the month of December, exports totaled 990,331 mt, down slightly from November's record. China (551,443 mt) was the month's top importer, followed by Mexico (86,807 mt) and South Korea (46,768 mt).