Increases Shown In Ethanol Exports As Promotion Work Ramps Up

This marketing year’s U.S. ethanol exports are expected to be the second largest on record as ethanol export promotion efforts ramp up by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and its partners Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

“Efforts to promote increased exports of U.S. ethanol are showing progress, with global ethanol exports during the first 10 months of the current marketing year posting an 11 percent gain over last year’s numbers,” said USGC Chief Economist Mike Dwyer.

“The Council now expects full year 2014/2015 ethanol exports to reach 850 million gallons and to be valued at $1.9 billion, up from 768 million gallons just last year.”

While 2015 exports of U.S. ethanol to Canada – the top international customer - are down 26 percent on a volume basis, all other major markets have shown increases due to strong demand and U.S. ethanol supplies that are competitively priced.

The second and third largest importers, Brazil and the Philippines, have grown 71 percent and 44 percent respectively to 135 million gallons and 71.2 million gallons. India and the United Arab Emirates round out the top five export markets for U.S. ethanol.

Other markets seeing significant growth during the first 10 months of 2014/2015 include Korea, Mexico, the European Union and Tunisia.

Korea, which imports U.S. ethanol primarily for industrial purposes, has increased imports of U.S. ethanol by 94 percent to 42.3 million gallons, and Mexico's imports have grown by 17 percent to 26.1 million gallons.

Tunisia’s imports of ethanol have increased 224 percent over 2014 tallies to a total of 30.7 million gallons. Despite stiff anti-dumping duties imposed on U.S. ethanol entering the EU, U.S. exports are up 27 percent in the first 10 months compared to 2013/2014 volumes, totaling 41.5 million gallons.

While this success is a good starting point, there is still much work to be done to keep ethanol exports growing. The Council and its partners have plans for ongoing work to promote U.S. ethanol as a clean-burning source of fuel to buyers and end-users around the globe including assessments in potential new markets; buyer team visits to the United States; and a series of workshops focusing on the environmental and economic benefits of ethanol use.