WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. exported a total of 1.19 billion gallons of ethanol in 2011, more than triple the 396 million gallons exported in 2010, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said on Feb. 10.

The year ended with record monthly ethanol exports of 172.7 million gallons in December. More than 40% of those exports went to Brazil, RFA said.

Brazil was the leading importer of U.S. ethanol for the year, receiving 33% of total shipments. Exports accounted for 8.6% of U.S. ethanol production in 2011, RFA said, up from 3% in 2010 and 1% in 2009.

December exports of denatured ethanol totaled 136.5 million gallons, a new monthly record. Brazil was the top destination for denatured product in December, receiving 53.4 million gallons. RFA said other top importers of U.S. denatured ethanol were Canada (36.7 million gallons), the United Kingdom (21.8 million gallons), United Arab Emirates (11.8 million gallons) and Oman (6.6 million gallons).

Undenatured ethanol exports tallied 36.2 million gallons in December. Brazil was the leading importer of undenatured ethanol, bringing in 20.3 million gallons (56%). The United Kingdom (4.8 million gallons), Netherlands (3.7 million gallons), Nigeria (3.2 million gallons), and Mexico (2.7 million gallons) were also top destinations, RFA said.

For the year, the U.S. exported 909.6 million gallons of denatured ethanol and 283.5 million gallons of undenatured (non-beverage) ethanol. Brazil was the leading importer of U.S. ethanol at 395.6 million gallons. Of the volume shipped to Brazil, 140.9 million gallons (36%) was undenatured, while 254.6 million gallons (64%) was denatured, RFA said.

Canada was the second-leading importer of U.S. ethanol in 2011, taking in 297.3 million gallons, almost all of which was denatured. Exports to Canada accounted for 25% of total shipments in 2011. The Netherlands (124.1 million gallons) and United Kingdom (119.4 million gallons) ranked third and fourth, respectively for the year. The United Arab Emirates, an OPEC member country, ranked fifth with 64.8 million gallons of imports from the U.S.

Distillers grains exports for 2011 totaled 7.65 million tonnes, down 15% from 2010. Mexico was the top importer, receiving 1.78 million tonnes (23%), followed by China with 1.39 million tonnes (18%). Canada (737,689 tonnes), Vietnam (499,523 tonnes) and Japan (301,234 tonnes) rounded out the top five.