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Trade Monitor
September Sales of U.S. Ethanol and DDGS Brighten

November 7, 2023

Exports, Trade


By Ann Lewis, Senior Analyst


U.S. ethanol exports rebounded 18% to 120.5 million gallons (mg), thanks in part to global denatured fuel sales reaching an 18-month high. Canada was our largest destination for the 30th consecutive month with exports of 60.4 mg, accounting for half of total sales despite a 3% decrease from August. Exports to the United Kingdom climbed 1% to 13.6 mg while Colombia cut its U.S. imports by 23% to 8.3 mg. Virtually all remaining ethanol exports were distributed among ten markets, with the largest volumes landing in Oman (7.8 mg, up from zero and the largest volume in nearly 4 years), Mexico (5.5 mg, +167% to a 5-month high), South Korea (5.1 mg, up from essentially zero), the United Arab Emirates (4.8 mg, up from zero), the European Union (3.9 mg, -28% to a 9-month low), and Jamaica (3.2 mg, +149% to a 7-month high). Brazil and India again were notably absent from the market. Year-to-date ethanol exports total 1.04 billion gallons, trailing last year by 3% at this time.


The U.S. imported 6.8 mg of undenatured ethanol from Brazil, or 35% less than August. Year-to-date imports total 17.4 mg or 59% less than last year, which marks the lowest Q1-Q3 U.S. imports since 2010.


Exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS), the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants, perked up 9% to 1.03 million metric tons (mt). Mexico was our largest destination for the 15th consecutive month with exports of 201,607 mt, despite a 14% decrease from August. DDGS exports revived in Vietnam (139,553 mt, +6% to a 12-month high), South Korea (110,316 mt, +32% to a 5-month high), and Canada (63,359 mt, +7% to a 3-month high). The other half of September exported DDGS was distributed to 32 markets, with larger volumes heading to Indonesia (61,961 mt), the United Kingdom (61,807 mt), and Colombia (40,299 mt). Year-to-date U.S. DDGS exports total 8.09 million mt, which lags 6% behind last year at this time despite an upward trendline.