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November U.S. Ethanol Exports Reach 35-Month High; DDGS Exports Continue Slide

January 7, 2015


U.S. exports of denatured and undenatured ethanol totaled 90.9 million gallons (mg) in November, up 15% from October and the highest level since December 2011, according to RFA analysis of government data released today. India was the top destination for U.S. product in November, receiving 27.6 mg, or 30% of total shipments. Canada and Brazil were other top customers for the month. Year-to-date exports through November stood at 760.2 mg, implying an annualized total for calendar year 2014 of 829.3 mg. In a reversal from historical trends, shipments of undenatured fuel ethanol accounted for the majority of November exports. Undenatured fuel ethanol exports totaled 65.9 mg, an all-time monthly record and up 143% from October. India was the leading importer of undenatured product at 27.6 mg, followed by Brazil at 17.0 mg and South Korea at 6.1 mg. The volumes shipped to India and South Korea represented the largest-ever monthly volumes sent to those markets. The Philippines (5.4 mg) and Nigeria (3.3 mg) were other top destinations for undenatured fuel ethanol. November exports of denatured fuel ethanol tallied 21.9 mg, with two countries—Canada and Tunisia—accounting for more than 99% of the total. Shipments of denatured product were less than half of October volumes and fell to their lowest since October 2010. Canada received 19.0 mg, while relative newcomer Tunisia took in 2.9 mg. Exports of denatured and undenatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage use totaled 3.1 mg in November, with Canada receiving 2.3 mg. Given classification errors with Canadian shipments in the past, it is possible the shipments to Canada were indeed for fuel use but were misclassified. U.S. ethanol imports hit a five-month high in November, but remained relatively inconsequential at 4.9 mg. Most of the imported product (3.8 mg) came from the Netherlands, with Brazil providing 1.1 mg. Thus, net exports in November stood at 86 mg, the highest level since the record of 126.9 mg in December 2011. Year-to-date 2014 imports through November were just 72.4 mg, implying an annualized total of nearly 79.0 mg. November exports of U.S. distillers dried grains (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product manufactured by dry mill ethanol plants—slid 19% from October to their lowest monthly level since March 2013. The decrease in November DDGS exports was reflective of the continued collapse of the Chinese market. Total DDGS exports for the month were 631,721 metric tons (mt), with Mexico (127,189 mt), Turkey (103,331 mt), and Canada (64,186 mt) again occupying the top three positions. After importing an average of 539,000 mt per month from March to August, China took in just 4,689 mt in November. Still, year-to-date DDGS exports stood at 10.59 million mt, meaning the U.S. achieved a new annual export record in 2014.