WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — U.S. exports of denatured and undenatured (non-beverage) ethanol set a new monthly record of 152.5 million gallons in November, according to government data released on Jan. 13. Brazil was the leading destination for U.S. product and accounted for nearly half of total shipments for the month. Canada, Mexico, and the Netherlands were among other top destinations.
Year-to-date total exports through November stood at 1.02 billion gallons, meaning exports were on pace for a 2011 calendar year total of 1.11 billion gallons, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said. Notably, these exports did not qualify for the ethanol blender’s tax credit, as the ethanol was not blended with gasoline prior to exportation.
“Exports have become an important part of the business model for American ethanol producers,” said Geoff Cooper, vice-president of research and analysis at the RFA. “American ethanol producers are the lowest cost provider of motor fuel today and have ample supplies available to help meet ethanol demand around the globe. While the preference for American producers would be to use more ethanol domestically through use of higher ethanol blends like E15, E30 and E85, overseas markets will remain a viable and important part of America’s ethanol industry.”
In December, Cooper raised the issue of U.S. policies that perversely incent the import of ethanol from Brazil. Cooper coined the phenomenon the “ethanol shuffle.” While import data for November is not yet available, anecdotal evidence suggests the “ethanol shuffle” continued in November and will continue into 2012.
On the co-products side, November exports of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) totaled 538,174 tonnes, the lowest monthly tally of the year. China was the top market (140,741 tonnes), followed by Mexico (117,108 tonnes), and Canada (53,458 tonnes). Year-to-date exports of DDGS stood at 7.08 million tonnes, meaning exports are on pace for 7.72 million tonnes for the calendar year. That total would be down 14% from 2010’s record exports of 9.03 million tonnes.