The Renewable Fuels Association reports that, according to data released by the federal government, U.S. ethanol exports in July set a new monthly record. Exports of denatured and undenatured ethanol totaled 127.4 million gallons, edging out the April 2011 total of 120.1 million gallons. July exports were nearly double the amount exported in June. Through July of this year, ethanol exports total 588.5 million gallons. That is more ethanol than was exported in 2009 and 2010 combined. The U.S. is on pace to export up to 900 million gallons of ethanol in 2011.
RFA Vice President Geoff Cooper says that demand for a cleaner, more reliable alternative to oil is growing across the globe and America's ethanol producers are filling that need. Unfortunately, Cooper says, domestic ethanol producers are forced to look at export markets as special interests and some policymakers are working overtime to prevent America from using more of its own renewable fuels. Cooper believes that if this nation doesn't want to harness its own renewable resources, it is evident that other nations will.
Cooper says unprecedented U.S. ethanol exports continue to be driven by the fact that corn ethanol is currently the lowest-cost motor fuel source in the world. High sugar prices and lower-than-expected sugarcane ethanol output in South America have allowed the United States to overtake Brazil as the world’s leading ethanol exporter. In fact, Brazil and Canada are neck and neck as the leading importers of U.S. ethanol so far in 2011. Canada has imported 155.5 million gallons of ethanol through July, while Brazil has imported 155 million gallons. Together, these two countries have accounted for half of U.S. exports this year.
Exports of distillers dried grains with soluble totaled 644,525 metric tons in July, up nearly 8% from June. Mexico continued as the top DDGS export, receiving 156,400 metric tons in July. China, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam rounded out the top five. Year-to-date DDGS exports total 4.43 million metric tons, meaning the U.S. is on pace to export roughly 7.6 million metric tons in 2011.