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Trade Monitor
Hefty Volumes of U.S. Ethanol and DDGS Shipped in February

April 4, 2024

Trade, Exports


February U.S. ethanol exports slipped 7% to a still-robust 139.0 million gallons (mg), largely influenced by fluctuations in our five largest markets (representing 77% of total shipments). Canada was our largest destination for the 35th consecutive month despite a 17% shave from January. Denatured fuel ethanol accounted for 93% of the 47.9 mg crossing the border. Exports surged to the United Kingdom (up 53% to 21.2 mg) and Colombia (up 93% to 15.0 mg) but volumes tempered to India (down 59% to 13.4 mg) and the European Union (down 39% to 9.7 mg). Escalating exports to other larger markets helped curb the slippage, including Singapore (6.0 mg, +501%), Mexico (5.8 mg, +5%), Peru (5.7 mg, +133%), and Jamaica (4.0 mg, +1040%). Notably, exports to Japan marked a 4-year high of 1.7 mg following concerted efforts to enlarge the market, while Brazil was again absent. Year-to-date ethanol exports totaled 289.0 mg, a whopping 30% ahead of last year at this time.


For the sixth consecutive month, the U.S. did not log any meaningful imports of foreign ethanol (Brazil shipped 70,282 gallons of undenatured fuel ethanol).


U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS), the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants, rebounded 9% to 986,337 metric tons (mt) on mixed markets. Shipments to Mexico, our largest customer for the second straight month, climbed 4% to 259,658 mt—the nation’s second-largest monthly imports on record. South Korea imports of U.S. DDGS slipped 10% to 132,457 mt while volumes rallied to Indonesia, up 20% to 86,304 mt. The remaining half of February exports shipped to forty countries, including significant yet declining volumes to Vietnam (65,146 mt, down 8%), Japan (51,051 mt, down 11%), Canada (49,588 mt, down 24%), and Colombia (33,477 mt, down 26%). Year-to-date DDGS exports totaled 1.89 million mt, which is 23% more than last year at this time.