By Ann Lewis, Senior Analyst
January U.S. ethanol exports jumped 59% to an 8-month high of 117.8 million gallons (mg). Canada was our largest importer for the 22nd consecutive month with 47.5 mg of U.S. ethanol crossing the border (primarily denatured), representing 40% of total U.S. exports despite a 3% decline from December volumes. Shipments increased across the bulk of remaining markets, including the United Kingdom (17.9 mg, up from minimal volumes to the largest exports in over a decade), South Korea (14.5 mg, +271% to an 8-month high), European Union (11.7 mg, up from minimal volumes), India (8.5 mg, up from zero to an 8-month high), Colombia (5.0 mg, +398% to a 15-month high), and Mexico (4.8 mg, +20%).
January was the first time in four months that the U.S. did not log foreign ethanol imports.
U.S. exports of dried distillers grains (DDGS), the animal feed co-product generated by dry-mill ethanol plants, scaled back 13% to 770,344 metric tons (mt). Mexico remained our top customer for the 7th consecutive month despite dipping 9% to a 9-month low of 153,659 mt (equivalent to 20% of January exports). Shipments to South Korea declined 10% to 111,609 mt while the European Union boosted imports by 74% to a 4-month high of 70,774 mt (with the majority bound for Ireland). Other larger markets included Indonesia (53,591 mt, -5%), Vietnam (51,475 mt, -17% to the lowest volume since Sept. 2017), Canada (51,221 mt, -11% to a 20-month low), Japan (39,227 mt, -16%), and Colombia (36,841 mt, -43%). Notably, imports to China hit a 12-month high (32,550 mt, +16%).
In February, RFA released annual analyses of U.S. ethanol and co-products exports in 2022. Find these trade summaries and other RFA publications here.