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Trade Monitor
U.S. Ethanol and DDGS Global Sales Were Strong Yet Tapered in November

January 9, 2024

Exports, Trade


By Ann Lewis, Senior Analyst


U.S. ethanol exports dipped 1% to a robust 115.9 million gallons (mg). Canada was our largest destination for the 32nd consecutive month despite a 23% drop in volume. Shipments totaled 50.0 mg (of which 91% was denatured), accounting for 43% of global sales. The U.S. exported 22.6 mg to Colombia (up from essentially zero), which is a record high for that market. India imported 13.5 mg (a -1% decline) while the European Union (down 54%) and United Kingdom (down 39%) each imported 7.7 mg. Virtually all remaining ethanol exports landed in South Korea (3.8 mg, -37%), Mexico (3.4 mg, -33%), Jamaica (3.3 mg, a 6-fold increase), Peru (2.9 mg, -50%), and Singapore (0.8 mg, +47%). Brazil again was notably absent from the market. Ethanol exports through November 2023 totaled 1.27 billion gallons, 3% ahead of the same period in 2022.


The U.S. imported 3.3 mg of undenatured ethanol from Brazil and minimal volumes of denatured ethanol from South Africa. Total ethanol imports through November 2023 totaled 20.6 mg, 73% less than the same period in 2022.


Exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS), the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants, slowed 7% to 829,911 metric tons (mt)—the lowest volume since April. Shipments landing in our top ten largest customers were mixed but up 3% overall, while a cumulative decline across our smaller markets (-44%) pulled down the November total. Mexico was our largest destination for the 17th consecutive month with exports of 177,724 mt. Still, this was an 8% decrease from October and a 6-month low. Other larger importers included South Korea (108,922 mt, +42%), Vietnam (101,389 mt, -16%), Indonesia (83,558 mt, +26%), Canada (78,341 mt, - 16% decline), Colombia (52,365 mt, quadrupled to an 11-month high) and China (33,189 mt, +9% to a 22-month high). DDGS exports through November 2023 totaled 9.82 million mt, lagging 3% behind the same period in 2022.