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Trade Monitor
U.S. Ethanol Exports Receded in July, While Distillers Grains Exports Strengthened

September 2, 2021

Exports, Trade


By Ann Lewis, Senior Analyst



September 2, 2021 — U.S. ethanol exports slumped 37% in July to 51.6 million gallons (mg), the lowest level since October 2013, as former key destinations Brazil, China and India were nearly absent from the market. For the fourth straight month, Canada was the top destination, taking 29.2 mg, down 13% from June. Shipments to South Korea, a top-five customer since February, were 5.3 mg, down 67%. Other leading markets included the Netherlands (4.0 mg, up 6%), Singapore (2.4 mg, the largest volume since Feb. 2018), Mexico (2.2 mg, down 59%), and Colombia (1.5 mg, down 23%). Exports to Finland (2.0 mg), Saudi Arabia (1.7 mg), and the United Kingdom (1.1 mg) rebounded from nominal levels in June. Shipments over the first seven months of the year were 715.9 mg, down 9% from the same period in 2020.


U.S. imports of ethanol ticked up slightly to 12.7 mg, all of which was from Brazil.


U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants—expanded 13% to 1.06 million metric tons (mt). Exports to Mexico were 247,511 mt (rising 6%), representing nearly a quarter of all U.S. DDGS shipments in July; it remained our top customer for the tenth consecutive month. DDGS sales to Turkey were 151,738 mt, nearly triple the volume exported in June and a three-year high. Exports also accelerated to Vietnam (151,449 mt, up 27% to the largest volume since Nov. 2018), South Korea (88,867 mt, up 22%), Canada (70,014 mt, up 26% to the largest volume in two years), Indonesia (66,903 mt, up 9%), and China (doubling to 35,054 mt). Total DDGS exports through July were 6.49 million mt, 8% ahead of last year.