Media & News

Trade Monitor
November U.S. Ethanol and DDGS Global Sales Moderate; China Returns as a Sizeable Ethanol Market

January 7, 2021

Trade, Exports


January 7, 2021 — U.S. ethanol exports in November declined 10% to 113.6 million gallons (mg) but landed 6% above year-ago levels at this time. Shipments crossing the border to Canada were fractionally lower, down 0.3% to 35.5 mg, securing nearly a third of total U.S. ethanol exports. Brazil re-entered the market with 13.4 mg in sales, which is the country’s largest U.S. ethanol draw in seven months. Exports to India were slightly higher (up 0.5%) at 11.7 mg while sales to Colombia decreased 8% to 10.2 mg. China also re-entered the market with 8.6 mg in sales, which is the country’s largest U.S. ethanol draw since March 2018. Other larger markets included South Korea (6.8 mg, -54%), Peru (6.1 mg, +72%), and Nigeria (5.9 mg, +56%). Global year-to-date exports of U.S. ethanol totaled 1.223 billion gallons, or 8% less than this time a year ago.


The U.S. imported 19.4 mg of ethanol, down 14% from October, with essentially all gallons sourced from Brazil. Year-to-date imports total 151.9 mg.


U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants—declined 3% in November to 927,604 metric tons (mt). U.S. export sales moderated in Mexico (139,844 mt, -23%), Vietnam (128,036 mg, -2%), and South Korea (88,810, -31%) but perked up in Turkey with a four-month high of 119,231 mt (+151%). The remaining half of export sales landed in another thirty countries, including Indonesia (84,002 mt), Canada (37,287 mt), Ireland (37,246 mt), Colombia (36,649 mt), and China (31,685 mt). Total worldwide U.S. DDGS exports through November were 10.12 million mt, or 1% ahead of last year at this time.


Ann Lewis

Ann Lewis is a Research Analyst at RFA.