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Trade Monitor
Global Sales of U.S. Ethanol and DDGS Dampened in November

January 5, 2023

Exports, Trade


By Ann Lewis, Senior Analyst


U.S. ethanol exports declined 3% to a three-month low of 81.4 million gallons (mg), approximately 40% less than the volume shipped a year ago. Essentially all exported U.S. ethanol landed in just ten countries in November. Our northern neighbor secured its place as our top customer for the twentieth consecutive month as shipments to Canada increased 8% to 47.9 mg—an unprecedented 59% of all exports. U.S. ethanol exports also expanded to South Korea, up 54% to 7.8 mg. Other larger markets included Mexico (5.1 mg, -21%), the European Union (4.6 mg, -33% to a 14-month low)—primarily led by the Netherlands—Peru (4.5 mg, -1%), and the United Kingdom (3.3 mg, -5%). India, Brazil, and China were principally absent from our export market in November. Despite the recent relaxed pace, year-to-date U.S. ethanol exports total 1.28 billion gallons, 15% ahead of last year at this time.


The U.S. imported 18.9 mg of undenatured ethanol from Brazil. Total year-to-date imports stand at 77.2 mg, or 32% 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, slipped 9% to 728,409 metric tons (mt)—the lowest volume since May 2020. In line with recent trends, three markets represented half of total U.S. DDGS shipments. Mexico, our top customer for the fifth consecutive month, imported 205,769 mt (up 33% to a 4-month high). Shipments to South Korea scaled back 30% (91,838 mt), while exports to Vietnam were half of October’s volume (68,223 mt, a 9-month low). Other larger markets include Canada (60,304 mt, +16%), Indonesia (52,414 mt, -8%), Japan (38,037 mt, -21%), and the European Union (27,559, -59%)—primarily led by Ireland. Total exports for the first eleven months of 2022 totaled 10.12 million mt, lagging 5% behind last year’s pace.