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Trade Monitor
U.S. Exports of Ethanol Balloon in April, while Shipments of DDGS Scale Back

June 7, 2022

Exports, Trade


By Ann Lewis, Senior Analyst


April U.S. ethanol exports rocketed to a four-year high of 185.2 million gallons (mg). Shipments were up 48% from March and represented the third-largest monthly export volume on record. Canada logged a 17% increase in imports (40.1 mg, its second-largest volume on record) and maintained its status as our top customer for the thirteenth consecutive month (capturing 22% of April exports). U.S. ethanol exports to Brazil leaped to 30.0 mg (up from zero), the largest volume in two years. South Korea saw weaker sales in April, importing 23.5 mg (-7%). Other substantial markets included Singapore (tripled to a record high of 19.0 mg), the Netherlands (13.8 mg, +79%), the United Kingdom (12.8 mg, up from essentially zero), India (11.9 mg, -13%), and Peru (9.0 mg, +99%). Notably, China again was absent from our export market. Total U.S. ethanol exports for the first four months of 2022 were 577.2 mg, up 15% from the same period in 2021.


The U.S. did not log any meaningful imports of foreign ethanol in April (South Africa shipped 10,411 gallons of denatured fuel ethanol). Total year-to-date imports stand at 10.7 mg.


U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS), the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants, scaled back in April by 12% to 813,749 (mt), a 14-month low. While Mexico cut its imports of U.S. DDGS by a third to the lowest volume since Feb. 2021 (125,025 mt), it remained our top customer for the nineteenth consecutive month. Shipments also thinned to Vietnam (105,135 mt, -6%), South Korea (97,654 mt, -24%), and Canada (80,121 mt, -24%). Shipments to these four markets represented half of U.S. DDGS exports in April. Other larger customers included Indonesia (66,701 mt, -5%), Bangladesh (41,853 mt, +671% to a record high), Morocco (39,113 mt, a six-fold increase), Japan (35,907 mt, -46%), Colombia (doubled to 34,057 mt), and Spain (33,882 mt, up from zero). Year-to-date DDGS shipments totaled 3.7 million mt, up 8% from 2021.