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Trade Monitor
August Sales of U.S. Ethanol and DDGS Tighten Yet Remain Robust

October 5, 2023

Exports, Trade


By Ann Lewis, Senior Analyst


U.S. ethanol exports scaled back 10% to 102.3 million gallons (mg)—a low for the year yet the eighth straight month to top 100 mg. Canada was our largest destination for the 29th consecutive month with exports of 62.4 mg, just 0.2% shy of last month’s record. As such, our northern neighbor accounted for nearly two-thirds of total August sales. Exports to the United Kingdom pared back 19% to 13.5 mg. Colombia increased its U.S. imports by 151% to 10.7 mg, the largest monthly volume in almost 3 years. Shipments to the European Union dropped 24% to 5.4 mg, the lowest imports this year. Essentially all remaining ethanol exports were destined for Peru (4.5 mg), Mexico (2.1 mg), Singapore (2.0 mg), and Jamaica (1.3 mg). Brazil and India again were notably absent from the market. Year-to-date ethanol exports total 920.5 mg, which lags 7% behind last year at this time.


The U.S. imported 10.5 mg of undenatured ethanol from Brazil and minimal gallons of denatured ethanol from Austria and France. This was the first month of substantive imports recorded in 2023.


Exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS), the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants, eased 5% to 947,326 metric tons (mt). A quarter of shipments landed in Mexico (234,674 mt, up 27% from July), our largest DDGS market for the 14th consecutive month. Exports to Vietnam lifted for the 7th consecutive month, up 6% to 131,232 mt. DDGS exports to Indonesia tightened 28% (87,015 mt), but South Korea sales rebounded 29% (83,425 mt), and Morocco purchased record volumes (59,367 mt). Rounding out our top ten customers in August were Canada (59,097 mt), New Zealand (30,799 mt), Colombia (28,887 mt), Taiwan (28,832 mt), and China (27,298 mt). Year-to-date U.S. DDGS exports total 7.06 million mt, which lags 9% behind last year at this time.