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Ethanol Exports Dip Slightly in January; Recovery of China DDG Market Continues

March 10, 2015


The United States exported 68.7 million gallons (mg) of ethanol in January, down 9% from December 2014 and the lowest since September 2014. Still, the total was nearly identical to the 2014 monthly average of 69.6 mg. Brazil was the top destination for U.S. product in January, followed by Canada and the Netherlands. The United States imported just a trickle of ethanol in January, meaning net exporter status was maintained for the 17th straight month. At 41.3 mg, undenatured fuel ethanol accounted for the bulk of January shipments. Brazil received 24.5 mg of undenatured product for fuel use, distantly followed by South Korea (3.7 mg), the Philippines (3.3 mg), Mexico (3.1 mg), and the Netherlands (2.6 mg). Meanwhile, denatured fuel ethanol exports fell 27% to 24.1 mg in January, with Canada (17.6 mg) serving as the top destination. The Netherlands (4.2 mg) and South Korea (1.1) were other leading importers of U.S. denatured fuel ethanol. Denatured and undenatured ethanol for non-fuel (and non-beverage) use totaled 3.3 mg in January, with Canada taking in the lion's share at 2.7 mg. U.S. fuel ethanol imports barely registered in January, with only 28,670 gallons coming in from Canada. U.S. exports of distillers dried grains (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product manufactured by ethanol dry mills—tallied 708,861 metric tons (mt) in January, down 3% from December but off 22% versus year-ago levels. China was the top market for DDGS exports, receiving 169,831 mt, or 24% of the total. Recovery of the Chinese market continues, as January exports to China were 35% above December levels and up dramatically from near zero in November. Mexico (133,776 mt), Canada (51,476 mt), Vietnam (42,388 mt), and Thailand (42,204 mt) rounded out the top five markets for U.S. DDGS in January.