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Trade Monitor
September U.S. Ethanol Global Sales Moderate While U.S. DDGS Exports Leap to 5-Year High

November 4, 2020

Trade, Exports


November 4, 2020 — U.S. ethanol exports in September decreased 23% to 77.2 million gallons (mg), which is 20% lower than a year ago. Shipments across the border to Canada declined 11% to 32.1 mg, equivalent to 42% of total U.S. ethanol exports. Sales to India shot up 30% to 13.6 mg. Shipments to Colombia (6.5 mg, -24%) and Peru (4.8 mg, -14%) tapered from August while Finland (4.1 mg, up from zero) and Switzerland (4.1 mg, +83%) were more active. Mexico (3.9 mg), Saudi Arabia (3.3 mg), and the Philippines (2.6 mg) were other sizable customers of U.S. ethanol. Brazil was noticeably absent from our export market. Global year-to-date exports of U.S. ethanol totaled 982.6 mg, or 11% less than this time a year ago.


The U.S. imported 16.9 mg of cane ethanol from Brazil, half as much as in August. Year-to-date imports total 110.1 mg.

U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants—surged 14% in September to 1.16 million metric tons (mt), the largest monthly volume in five years. Strong sales to Asia—Vietnam (124,735 mt, -5%), Japan (a record 114,940 mt, +724%), and South Korea (101,761 mt, -8%)—thrust Mexico (94,589 mt, -32%) from our top DDGS export market to the fourth largest. Turkey (86,187 mt), Indonesia (67,024 mt), and Egypt (56,285 mt) were other larger customers. Worldwide U.S. DDGS exports for the first eight months of the year were 8.24 million mt, trailing just 1% behind last year at this time.



Ann Lewis

Ann Lewis is a Research Analyst at RFA.