US ethanol exports hit 52-month high as China trade soars

June 5, 2016 |

In Washington, the Renewable Fuels Association reports that U.S. ethanol exports totaled 95.5 million gallons (mg) in April, a slight 300,000 gallons higher than March and the highest monthly volume since December 2011, according to government data from the US Energy Information Administration.

China was the top destination receiving 34.5 mg of U.S. product in April. India (14.6 mg) nosed out Canada (14.5 mg) as the second-largest export market. Those top three customers accounted for three-fourths of all U.S. ethanol exports in April. Year-to-date ethanol exports reached 344.9 mg, meaning the industry is on pace to ship slightly more than 1 billion gallons in 2016.

April exports of U.S. denatured fuel ethanol fell 26% from the prior month to 36.9 mg. Most product shipped to China (22.1 mg)–which scaled back its imports of denatured product by 13 mg from March levels–and to Canada (12.6 mg). Peru (1.3 mg) and Jamaica (0.9 mg) were the only other major importers of denatured fuel ethanol in April.

Month-on-month exports of undenatured fuel ethanol rose 28% to 52.6 mg, with India leading the pack at 14.5 mg. China (12.5 mg), the Philippines (7.1 mg) and Brazil (6.5 mg) were other top importers of undenatured fuel product. Sales of denatured ethanol for non-fuel use expanded to the highest monthly volume in four years at 5.5 mg, with Nigeria’s imports of 3.5 mg accounting for the spike. Canada picked up much of the remaining share of denatured industrial ethanol (1.9 mg). Sales of undenatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage use dropped back to a more typical level of 590,060 gallons after popping to 2 mg in March. Mexico and South Korea together accounted for half of the total volume of undenatured industrial.

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