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Trade Monitor
Global Sales of U.S. Ethanol Rebound in September While U.S. DDGS Exports Ease

November 3, 2022

Exports, Trade


By Ann Lewis, Senior Analyst


September U.S. ethanol exports bounced back 30% to 100.4 million gallons (mg) after a precipitous drop in August shipments of undenatured fuel ethanol. Canada was our largest importer for the eighteenth month (42.4 mg, equal to 42% of total U.S. exports) despite a 20% decline from August’s record high. Shipments increased across the bulk of remaining export markets, including the Netherlands (13.8 mg, +475%), South Korea (12.0 mg, +82%), the Philippines (7.4 mg, up from zero), and the United Kingdom (6.9 mg, up from minimal volumes). Brazil, India, and China again were principally absent from our export market. Total year-to-date U.S. ethanol shipments surged to 1.11 billion gallons, or 27% ahead of last year’s pace.


The U.S. did not import any ethanol in September. Total year-to-date imports stand at 42.4 mg, or 11% lower 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, scaled back 11% in September to a five-month low of 877,745 metric tons (mt). Exports to Mexico, our top customer for the third consecutive month, eased 4% to 187,583 mt. Vietnam boosted imports by 17% to 155,945 mt while exports to South Korea declined 10% to 82,574 mt. These three markets represented roughly half of all U.S. DDGS shipments in September. Other larger markets included the European Union—primarily Ireland and Spain (77,835 mt, +11%), Canada (61,229 mt, -12% to a 15-month low), Indonesia (35,191 mt, -48% to the lowest volume since 2016), and Colombia (33,663 mt, -37%). Total exports for the first nine months of 2022 totaled 8.59 million mt, slightly ahead of last year’s pace.