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Ethanol Exports Dip in April, as India and Philippines Disappear from Market

June 2, 2017


U.S. ethanol exports totaled 87.2 million gallons (mg) in April, down 32% from March and the lowest volume in eight months, according to government data released today and analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). Still, year-to-date ethanol exports remain on a record pace, with 474.8 mg of shipments recorded in the first four months of 2017. Brazil was again the top customer for U.S. exports, receiving 44.5 mg (slightly more than half of the total volume) in April. Canada was the other major destination for U.S. product in April, taking in 19.0 mg. Peru (3.9 mg), United Arab Emirates (3.3 mg), and South Korea (2.5 mg) rounded out the top five markets. Noticeably absent from the April roster were India and the Philippines. Together, the two counties imported more than 50 mg of U.S. ethanol in March, and India had been the third-leading market for U.S. export in the first quarter. Exports of undenatured ethanol for fuel use tallied at 56.4 mg in April, down 42% from March. Brazil accounted for 79% of the undenatured fuel ethanol export volume, while UAE (3.3 mg), South Korea (2.5 mg), Mexico (2.3 mg), Peru (1.9 mg), and Singapore (1.3 mg) combined to receive 20%. Canada was the top destination for denatured fuel ethanol, taking in 18.3 mg, or 77% of the total. Peru (2.0 mg), Colombia (1.7 mg) and Jamaica (1.7 mg) accounted for the remainder of denatured fuel shipments. Exports of denatured and undenatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage purposes totaled 7.2 mg, with Nigeria (6.2 mg) and Canada (0.7 mg) accounting for the lion's share. Not a drop of fuel ethanol imports was recorded in April, leaving year-to-date import totals languishing well below 1 mg. For a chart of monthly U.S. ethanol exports and imports, click here. Exports of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product manufactured by ethanol dry mills—stood at 869,041 metric tons (mt) in April. That was down 16% from March and the lowest since December 2016. With imports of 165,033 mt, Mexico was again the top market, while Turkey (162,286 mt) ran a close second. Canada (63,573 mt), South Korea (62,584 mt), and China (55,727 mt) were other top markets. Year-to-date DDGS exports totaled 3.91 million mt through April, indicating an annualized total of 11.72 million mt.