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Trade Monitor
March U.S. Ethanol and DDGS Exports Surge Toward 2-Year Highs

May 2, 2024

Trade, Exports


March U.S. ethanol exports intensified, up 15% to a 23-month high of 159.3 million gallons (mg), with 97% bound for just ten markets. The largest share (30%) transferred to Canada, our top customer for the 36th consecutive month despite a 1% decrease from February. Denatured fuel ethanol accounted for 93% of the 47.6 mg crossing the border. Exports improved by 61% to India (21.5 mg) and doubled to the European Union (20.0 mg)—primarily shipped to the Netherlands. Other larger markets included the United Kingdom (19.0 mg, -10%), Singapore (13.5 mg, +124% to a record high), Colombia (12.0, -20%), and South Korea (7.5 mg, +99%). Brazil remained absent from our export market, continuing a 22-month run. Year-to-date ethanol exports totaled 448.3 mg, which is 27% more than last year at this time.


The U.S. imported 1.1 mg of undenatured fuel ethanol from Brazil. This was the first time since November that any meaningful imports entered our borders.


U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS), the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants, expanded 7% to 1.06 million metric tons (mt)—the largest volume since June 2022. Shipments to Mexico scaled back 34% to 171,815 mt yet were robust enough to secure its position as our largest customer for the third straight month. Exports bolstered to other larger markets, including South Korea (up 8% to 142,829 mt), Turkey (quadrupled to 122,027 mt), Indonesia (up 29% to a 4-year high of 111,044 mt), Vietnam (up 39% to 90,807 mt), Colombia (doubled to a record 73,304 mt), and Canada (up 13% to 55,967 mt). The remaining 30% of U.S. DDGS exports were dispersed across 32 countries worldwide. Year-to-date DDGS exports totaled 2.94 million mt, 21% ahead of last year at this time.