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U.S. Ethanol Maintains Net Exporter Status in February as Virtually No Imports are Recorded

April 22, 2014

           

U.S. ethanol shipments in February totaled 67.1 million gallons (mg), down 22% from January, according to government data released this month. However, year-to-date exports are up 44% over last year during the same time period. February exports were divided amongst undenatured fuel ethanol (37.7 mg), denatured fuel ethanol (28.4 mg), and denatured and undenatured ethanol for non-fuel use (0.97 mg). Canada regained its position as the leading importer of U.S. product, receiving 16.6 mg in February. Brazil followed with 13.0 mg – a substantial step back from last month's volume, but still good enough for nearly 20% of the monthly total. The United Arab Emirates (6.9 mg), Finland (6.3 mg), and Singapore (4.8 mg) were other top destinations. India and Tunisia stepped out of the picture in February after recording sizable imports in January, as did last year's number two U.S. ethanol importer, the Philippines. The U.S. imported a meager 11,999 gallons of ethanol in February – the lowest level since February 2012. All imported product came from Brazil as undenatured fuel ethanol. The U.S. was a net exporter for the sixth straight month with net exports of 67.1 mg in February. Exports of distillers dried grains (DDGs) – the animal feed co-product manufactured by dry mill ethanol plants – stabilized in February at 904,426 metric tons (mt) after a two-month slide. China was again the leading destination for U.S. distillers grains in February with 471,101 mt, or 52% of the total. Mexico ranked second with 109,624 mt (12% share), while Vietnam (66,776 mt), South Korea (41,630 mt), and Japan (32,288 mt) rounded out the top five markets for U.S. DDGs. Year-to-date exports stood at 1,808,253 mt, implying an annualized total of 10.85 million mt – if realized, this would be a new annual record.