Biodiesel, DDG Exports Jump in 2015

OMAHA (DTN) -- December ethanol exports were 4% higher than they were in the same month last year at 81.67 million gallons, according to USDA.

For all of 2015, the U.S. exported 835.6 million gallons, about 1 million gallons more than the year before, according to data from the Foreign Ag Service. It also released data on biodiesel and dried distillers grain exports.

"Ethanol exports are neutral and should have little impact on Friday's corn prices," DTN Analyst Todd Hultman said.

U.S. exports of biodiesel totaled 18,784 metric tons in December, up 164% from a year ago. For all of 2015, biodiesel exports totaled 294,901 metric tons, up 6% from a year ago.

Mexico was the top customer in December, taking 12,255 metric tons -- a huge jump from 27.4 metric tons a year ago.

"Mexico's big jump in biodiesel purchases is bullish for soybean oil and a likely reason that soybean oil prices are up on the week and trading at their highest level since mid-December," Hultman said.

DDG exports totaled 988,356 metric tons in December, up 36% from a year ago. For all of 2015, exports totaled 12.55 mmt, up 11% from the year prior.

Once again, China was the top customer, taking 226,049 metric tons in December. China's DDG purchases were 45% higher in 2015 than the year before.

"China's big appetite for protein in distillers grains is showing no sign of slowing yet and is bullish for overall soybean demand as well," Hultman said.