Media & News

Blog Posts
U.S. Ethanol Exports Up 40% in October; DDG Exports Fall as Shipments to China Continue to Plummet

December 8, 2014


U.S. exports of denatured and undenatured ethanol in October totaled 79.2 million gallons (mg), up 40% from September and the highest level in seven months, according to RFA analysis of government data released last Friday. Year-to-date exports stood at 669.3 mg—roughly 40% higher than exports during the same period last year, and implying an annualized total of 803 mg for 2014. Canada received a quarter (28%) of total U.S. ethanol exports in October, followed by the United Arab Emirates (21%), the Philippines (21%), and Tunisia (14%). Historically, Tunisia had been on the books as a U.S. ethanol importer for only three separate months for a total of 6.7 mg. In October, Tunisia ramped up its stakes in the ethanol trade by importing 11.3 mg. South Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands and Brazil were other key destinations in October. October exports of denatured ethanol for fuel continued an upward trend, increasing 32% over September to 50.3 mg. Shipments primarily moved to Canada (22.0 mg, or 44%), the United Arab Emirates (16.3 mg, or 32%), and Tunisia (11.3 mg, or 22%). Shipments of undenatured ethanol for fuel use were 27.1 mg in October, with the Philippines the largest destination at 16.3 mg (60%). South Korea (5.8 mg, or 21%) and Mexico (3.2 mg, or 12%) were other major players. October exports of undenatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage slipped from September to 462,473, while denatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage use nearly tripled to 1.4 mg as a result of South Korea's 1 mg offtake. The United States imported 1.1 mg of fuel ethanol in October—nearly double the September draw, yet the fourth-smallest import volume of the year. All undenatured ethanol was sourced from Singapore (1.0 mg) while all denatured ethanol originated from Canada (102,137 gallons). U.S. ethanol imports this year have averaged less than 7 mg per month, with year-to-date imports standing at 67.5 mg. With October net exports hitting 78.1 mg, the United States has extended its net exporter status to 14 months in a row. October exports of U.S. distillers dried grains (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product manufactured by dry mill ethanol plants—fell 14% from September, reflecting the collapse in shipments to China. October DDGS exports to China fell to their lowest since July 2009 and were equivalent to just 3% of the volume shipped to China in June of this year. Fortunately, U.S. producers were successful in moving record levels of DDGS to the rest of the world (see chart below). Still, the September total of 781,009 metric tons (mt) was the lowest monthly level in 16 months. With China now out of the Top 10, Mexico became the new leader in October, pulling in 148,105 mt (19% of total), while Turkey took in 127,621 mt (16% of total). Canada (65,710 mt), Vietnam (63,302 mt), Thailand (49,393 mt) and South Korea (47,985 mt) rounded out the top customers. Year-to-date exports stood at 9.96 million mt—already topping the 9.71 million mt record set for DDGS exports in 2013.