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U.S. Ethanol Exports Establish New February Record; DDGS Exports Rebound

April 3, 2015


U.S. exports of denatured and undenatured ethanol in February totaled 85.2 million gallons (mg), up 24% from January, according to RFA analysis of government data released this week. This represents the highest February export volume on record, eclipsing the February 2012 figure of 76.3 mg. Year-to-date exports stood at 153.9 mg—in line with exports during the same period last year, and implying an annualized total of 923 mg for 2015. Brazil received about one quarter (28%) of total U.S. ethanol exports in February, followed by India (20%), Canada (17%), and the United Arab Emirates (12%). The Philippines, South Korea, the Netherlands and Peru were other key destinations in February. February exports of denatured ethanol for fuel increased 5% over January, rising to 25.3 mg. Shipments primarily moved to Canada (12.6 mg, or 50%), United Arab Emirates (10.0 mg, or 40%), South Korea (1.1 mg, or 4%) and Peru (1.1 mg, or 4%). Shipments of undenatured ethanol for fuel use were 57.2 mg in February—the second-highest level in more than three years, with Brazil the largest destination at 23.8 mg (42%). India (16.9 mg, or 30%) and the Philippines (7.3 mg, or 13%) were other major players. February exports of undenatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage more than doubled from January to 710,355, while denatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage use slipped back to 2.0 mg. The United States imported 2.6 mg of fuel ethanol in February after importing less than 30,000 gallons the prior month, and total 2015 imports are trending lower than last year at this time. Nearly all undenatured ethanol was sourced from Guatemala (1.8 mg) while most denatured ethanol originated from Lithuania (579,224 gallons, or 77%) and Russia (164,856 gallons, or 22%). With February net exports hitting 82.6 mg, the United States has again enjoyed a net exporter status, continuing the trend since September 2013. February exports of U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product manufactured by dry mill ethanol plants—rose 13% to the highest monthly level in 5 months, 803,203 mt, as the Chinese market continued to recover. However, exports to China remain at about half the level enjoyed prior to the market collapse. Exports to the rest of the world, however, have been on a four-month slide, decreasing by 30% during that period. In February, China managed to recapture the top market share for the U.S. DDGS, pulling in 272,220 mt (34% of total), while Mexico took in 222,182 mt (28% of total). Vietnam (48,043 mt), Canada (43,859 mt), Japan (38,621 mt) and Thailand (35,587 mt) rounded out the top customers. Year-to-date exports stood at 1.512 million mt, implying an annualized 9.07 million mt in DDGS exports for 2015.