Friday, June 10, 2011

U.S. Ethanol Export Numbers and Trends

(Note that undenatured product is pure ethanol and denatured product has additives to make it undrinkable.)

  • Ethanol exports set another record in March, as 84 million gallons of product (denatured and undenatured, non-beverage) were shipped to destinations around the world.
  • Brazil imported nearly 23 million gallons of U.S. ethanol in 2010.
  • Denatured ethanol exports totaled a record 58.6 million gallons in March, up 55% from February. Brazil was the top destination for denatured product, receiving 18.9 million gallons.
  • As for undenatured (non-beverage) product, the U.S. exported 25.4 million gallons in March, up 17% from February.
  • Through the first three months of the year, the U.S. has exported 201 million gallons of ethanol, equivalent to half of the amount exported in all of 2010 and almost twice the amount exported in 2009.
  • Year-to-date ethanol exports have been equivalent to about 6% of total U.S. production.
  • Final export volumes for 2010 show a nearly 400 percent increase in U.S. ethanol exports and a 60 percent increase in DDGS exports, when compared to 2009.

The good news for (some) American farmers is that:
  • The ethanol industry has created jobs here in the U.S. although the booming agriculture sector is bypassing small town rural America.
  • Corn prices have risen due to ethanol's demand for corn, rewarding farmers and agri-business. This has resulted in higher prices for other agricultural commodities such as soy, wheat, and meat.

The bad news:
  • For the consumer meat and milk prices are going up as well as raw cereal costs.
  • This is an environmentally destructive policy, using topsoil, coal, natural gas and vast amounts of water to convert corn into ethanol.
  • The policy is hurting our U.S. global competitiveness in the grain export market since it is driving up prices of corn, soy, and wheat.
  • U.S. corn ethanol, which is using more than 15% of the global corn production, leads to more food challenges among the poor of the world.
  • The ethanol industry, by gambling on the requirement of good weather to replenish too-low corn stocks, is gambling with the food security of the globally food insecure.