By Ann Lewis, Senior Analyst
August U.S. ethanol exports slumped 28% to 77.0 million gallons (mg), the lowest volume in over a year. However, a record 52.9 mg crossed the border into Canada, up 27% from July, with nearly 50 mg shipped as denatured fuel ethanol. This marks the seventeenth month that Canada has been our largest importer, securing an unprecedented 69% of the U.S. ethanol export market. Exports to South Korea pared back 29% to 6.6 mg (the lowest volume in a year) and shipments to Mexico eased 4% to 5.1 mg. Other larger importers included Saudi Arabia (2.6 mg, +1%), the Netherlands (2.4 mg, -79%), and Finland (2.2 mg, up from zero). China and Brazil again were not key market players in August. Total year-to-date exports topped 1.01 billion gallons, or 27% ahead of last year’s pace at this time.
The U.S. imported 12.8 mg of undenatured ethanol from Brazil, along with minimal volumes of denatured ethanol from Canada and China. Total year-to-date imports stand at 53.0 mg, or 52% more than last year at this time.
U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS), the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants, tapered 7% in August to a 3-month low of 981,020 metric tons (mt). Exports to Mexico, our top customer for the second consecutive month, declined 12% to 194,795 mt (representing a fifth of all U.S. DDGS shipments). However, Vietnam boosted imports by 29% to 133,303 mt and exports of U.S. DDGS to South Korea expanded 7% to 91,838 mt. Other larger markets included Canada (69,269 mt, -21% to a 14-month low), Indonesia (68,293 mt, -27%), Spain (53,834 mt, +389%), Colombia (53,383 mt, +295% to a record high), and New Zealand (48,204 mt, +107% to the largest volume in a year). The remaining U.S. DDGS were dispersed among another two dozen countries. Total exports for the first eight months of 2022 totaled 7.72 million mt, on par with the same period last year.