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Ethanol Exports Recover in July as Sizeable Shipments to China are Noted

September 3, 2015


U.S. ethanol exports rebounded in July after a two-month slump, according to RFA analysis of government data released today, rising 28% from June to 77.2 million gallons (mg). Canada (23.3 mg, or 30%), South Korea (11.3 mg, or 15%), the Philippines (8.7 mg, or 11%) and India (8.5 mg, or 11%) accounted for the bulk of exports in July, followed by China (7.6 mg) and Peru (6.3 mg). Brazil reappeared in the market, taking in 5.4 mg of U.S. product after a notable disappearance in June. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates stepped out of the market in July after accounting for one-fifth of demand the prior month. Through the first seven months of the year, ethanol exports stood at 514.5 mg, indicating an annualized rate of 882 mg. The United States nearly quadrupled monthly exports of undenatured ethanol for fuel use in July, rising from June's low of 13.4 mg to 46.9 mg. South Korea (11.2 mg, or 24%), the Philippines (8.7 mg, or 19%) and India (8.5 mg, or 18%) accounted for the lion's share of exports, with China, Mexico, Brazil and Peru rounding out the list. July exports of denatured ethanol fuel dropped by 40% to 26.4 mg. Canada purchased over three-quarters (20.2 mg) of total volumes exported, while Peru (2.7 mg) and China (2.5 mg) largely accounted for the remainder. The United States exported 586,537 gallons of undenatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage use, up 31% from the prior month. Exports of denatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage purposes totaled 3.3 mg, with Canada taking in 3.0 mg. Despite some expectations that significant import volumes might appear in July, fuel ethanol imports continued to be virtually nonexistent, with the U.S. taking in a scant 512 gallons of denatured product from Canada. Total imports for the first seven months of 2015 are 17.1 mg, or an average of 2.4 mg per month. In July, the U.S. claimed its 23rd month in a row as a net exporter, and net export volumes reached a four-month high. July exports of U.S. distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product manufactured by dry mill ethanol plants—rose for the sixth month in a row to 1,366,907 metric tons (mt), an increase of 5% over the previous record high in June. While exports to China were down 4% over last June, the country remained as the predominant importer of U.S. DDGS, taking in 68% (932,942 mt) of total July exports. Shipments to the rest of the world continued to improve in July as volumes to destinations other than China increased nearly 10% for the second month in a row. Mexico (146,289 mt, or 11% of exports), South Korea (54,248 mt), Vietnam (53,850 mt), Thailand (29,311 mt) and Canada (28,535 mt) captured most of the remaining global market for U.S. DDGS in July. DDGS exports for the first seven months of 2015 are 7.2 million mt, implying an annualized total of 12.4 million mt–over 1 million mt greater than last year's record volume.