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Trade Monitor
Exports of U.S. Ethanol and DDGS Brighten in October

December 7, 2021

Exports, Trade


December 7, 2021 — U.S. ethanol exports in October jumped 38% to 104.74 million gallons (mg), bolstered by the largest volume of undenatured fuel ethanol exports since March. Canada remained the top destination for U.S. ethanol exports for the seventh consecutive month with imports of 37.3 mg, up 3%. This marks the largest monthly shipments to cross the border in over four years and accounts for more than a third of the October U.S. ethanol export market. India imported 14.0 mg, up from zero in September and representing a six-month high. Similarly, after being absent from the market in September, the Netherlands purchased the largest monthly volume of U.S. ethanol in a year (13.9 mg). Outside of lower shipments to South Korea (down 62% to 6.8 mg), the bulk of our larger customers boosted volumes: United Kingdom (6.5 mg, +58%), Colombia (5.4 mg, +316%), Mexico (5.4 mg, +12% to a 14-month high), Brazil (5.3 mg)—the first significant volumes since March, Nigeria (4.8 mg, up from zero), and the Philippines (2.7 mg, +43%). Shipments over the first ten months of the year were 976.9 mg, down 11% from the same period in 2020.


The U.S. logged ethanol imports for the fifth consecutive month, with 10.5 mg of undenatured ethanol arriving from Brazil in October. Year-to-date U.S. ethanol imports total 58.4 mg.


U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS)—the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants—rebounded from September’s slump by 24% to 1.06 million metric tons (mt). Exports to Mexico, our top customer for more than a year, increased 7% to 171,325 mt (representing 16% of all shipments in October). U.S. DDGS sales to Vietnam beefed up by 26% to 146,844 mt, exports to Turkey more than tripled (up 266% to 104,369 mt), and Indonesia imported 82,185 mt (up 20%) for a nine-month high. However, U.S. DDGS exports moderated to Canada (83,161 mt, down 11%) and South Korea (73,206 mt, down 32%). Substantial volumes also landed in China (61,528 mt, +23% to the largest volume since Feb. 2017), Japan (49,144 mt, +272%), Thailand (43,022 mt, +165%), Colombia (34,132, +217%), Spain (28,412 mt, +47%), and Taiwan (24,223 mt, +69% to a 14-month high). Total DDGS exports through October were 8.59 million mt, which is 5% ahead of last year at this time.