Thursday, November 17, 2011

2011 U.S. Ethanol Exports Set to More than Double Over Last Year

(YTD is through the end of September 2011)

For September . . .
  • 105.8 million gallons (mg) of denatured and undenatured (non-beverage) ethanol were exported in September.
  • Half of the shipments went to Brazil
  • September ethanol exports from the U.S. were the third highest on record.
  • Denatured ethanol exports totaled 74.1 mg for the month, with Brazil receiving 31.1 mg. Canada (28.9 mg) followed closely, while the United Kingdom (5.2 mg), Jamaica (4.0 mg) and the Netherlands (3.2 mg) were other top destinations for denatured product in September.
  • Total exports of undenatured ethanol were 31.8 mg in September, the highest monthly total of the year. Brazil was the leading destination, taking in 15.8 mg. Finland (4.6 mg), Mexico (4.5 mg), the Netherlands (3.7 mg), and the OPEC nation Nigeria (3.0 mg) rounded out the top five for the month.
For 2011 . . .
  • Year-to-date exports stood at 746.5 mg at the end of September, almost double the amount exported in the entire 2010 calendar year.
  • The U.S. remains on pace to export between 900 mg and 1 billion gallons in 2011.
  • Canada and Brazil accounted for 55 percent of total U.S. export demand during the first nine months of this year.
By my estimates, more than 7% of this year's U.S. ethanol production will be exported.——K.M.

source: RFA


  1. Why are we exporting ethanol? I thought it was being produced to help with our gasoline problems. We till the ground using gasoline/diesel, we apply fertilizer made from natural gas, we apply pesticides made from Oil, and we transport the ethanol to the point of export. We are not getting our EROI for this. Couldn't we be using the fuel and fertilizer to bring down the cost to Americans?

  2. You are exactly right.

    Its called mining our topsoil, exploiting our natural resources, and agribusiness insanity.

    But the ethanol lobbying interests are powerful and Washington is desperate to export anything that makes our balance sheet look better.

    I was aghast when I saw the 2010 ethanol export numbers, and now, 2011 is so much higher.

  3. Dear K,
    Do you have the direct source for these figures? I looked around on the Ethanol Producers Magazine web site and couldn’t find this…I wonder where the figures come from?

    Interesting to me…I was at the Natl. Farm Radio Broadcasters meeting in Kansas City last week and Vilsack spoke about the opportunities for the bioenergy economy for U.S. agriculture.

    One of the items our ag researcher community is exploring is…is it possible to produce all this biomass sustainably? You can produce energy for cars etc. (fuel) or people (calories) and…I guess…to me anyway…that is one choice…but really can it be done on a sustainable basis?

    Anyway…K…I love all your posts…wanted to comment on the Coon Valley picture you had a while back. Coon Valley (west of beautiful Madison, WI) was the first conservation district started by the USDA’s NRCS about 75 years ago. Last year, USDA did a symposium on the history of conservation programs that was really fascinating to me. Present day Coon Valley…looks a lot like the picture, except in color.

    Also…I wondered if you had seen this post…over at Mother Jones on organic vs conventional agriculture. The exchange in the comments between Karl and others is pretty interesting. I know Kathleen Delate at Iowa State (one of the leads on the LTAR research) and I admire/trust/value her work a lot…and I think this is the way to make agriculture sustainable, but, at least to me, Borlaug’s comment…” Even if you could use all the organic material that you have--the animal manures, the human waste, the plant residues--and get them back on the soil, you couldn't feed more than 4 billion people…” is still well taken. Many of these studies involve putting equivalent amounts of N in the form of manure on the soil to match N applied in the conventional systems. I am not sure if that is the case here, I have not seen the research yet. But, to me, it is a closed loop…if you take fertility out of the soil you have to put it back to maintain the same level of productivity. Regardless, if that is in the form of manure or N obtained by a manufacturing process.

    I think it misses the point to say that organic ag is more productive…I think it is better to say that it can be as productive or more (depending on how productivity is measured).

    Here is the Mother Jones item:

    Also, we just published at paper looking at if organic can be as economical as conventional…(it can)here is the press release:

    K…forgive the long comment…hope you and yours have a great Thanksgiving!

  4. James,

    I have added a link to the post and forgive me, the source was actually RFA's site, not EPM. I have covered this subject previously a number of times on this blog as most taxpayers become very upset when they find out that we are exporting ethanol. While the ethanol lobbyists are very good at promoting their project and covering damage control, this is one story they tend to keep out of the media, or so it seems. I think it is quite obvious even at a gut level that we can't fuel the world's insatiable appetite for liquid fuels off our Midwestern soils, let alone our own.

    That is a great area around Coon Valley, and we are very fond of the whole driftless region to its south. I'm so glad to hear that it still looks about the same. And how interesting about it being the 1st conservation district. Certainly didn't know that.

    Thanks so much for the links, too, hadn't seen them.

    Would it be possible to have an RSS feed for the agronomy news, press releases, or articles? I would add it to my sidebar if there was one. Or if there already is, please let me know.

    Loved your valuable comment, happy holidays to yours as well!