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Trade Monitor
January U.S. Ethanol and DDGS Exports Remain Healthy Despite Lower Volumes

March 7, 2024

Trade, Exports


By Ann Lewis, Senior Analyst


January U.S. ethanol exports ebbed 4% to a still-robust 150.0 million gallons (mg). Canada was our largest destination for the 34th consecutive month, hastened by a 32% jump in volume. Shipments totaled 57.7 mg and accounted for 38% of global sales. The U.S. exported 33.0 mg to India, up 61% to a three-year high. An elevated share of denatured fuel ethanol exports to both countries (totaling over 76 mg) helped mark January as the second-largest monthly denatured shipments on record. Other large and expanding ethanol export markets included South Korea (+32% to 11.0 mg), Colombia (+74% to 7.8 mg), and Mexico (+24% to 5.5 mg). However, declining volumes to the European Union (-2% to 15.9 mg, despite record volumes to Latvia) and the United Kingdom (-47% to 13.9 mg) put the brakes on the overall January total. Brazil again was notably absent from the market.


There were no U.S. imports on record in January, according to the monthly data.

U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS), the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants, slipped 9% to 902,376 metric tons (mt) on mixed markets. Shipments mounted 57% to Mexico, helping our neighbor regain its role as our top DDGS customer on a 26-month high of 249,582 mt (equivalent to 28% of January exports). Exports also rallied to Vietnam (+11% to 70,718 mt), Japan (doubled to 57,401 mt), Colombia (doubled to 45,286 mt), and China (+10% to 25,105 mt). These gains were largely offset by lower shipments to several larger markets, including South Korea (-16% to 146,439 mt), Indonesia (-19% to 71,647 mt), Turkey (slight downtick to 65,238 mt), and Canada (-7% to 64,983 mt).


In February, RFA released annual analyses of 2023 U.S. ethanol and co-products exports. Find these trade summaries and other RFA publications here.