RFA: US Ethanol Exports Up 42%

NEW YORK (DTN) -- U.S. ethanol exports rebounded in March after a steep fall the month prior, with new government data showing shipments to customers abroad rose 42% month-over-month to 95.3 million gallons in March, according to the Renewable Fuels Association.

RFA, which analyzed the data drawn from government agencies, said that's the highest volume of ethanol exports in more than four years, with most of the exports going to China.

China received 37 million gallons of U.S. ethanol in March, overtaking Brazil and Canada, which have previously been the top destinations for U.S. ethanol. Brazil received 20.7 million gallons and Canada got 16.2 million gallons.

"Year-to-date, ethanol exports through the first quarter stood at 249.4 million gallons, meaning the industry is on pace to ship 1 billion gallons of exports in 2016," RFA said in its report of the data.

Through the first three months of the year, China had imported 75.2 million gallons of U.S. ethanol, topping its total imports of 70.5 million gallons during the entire 2015 calendar year.

Exports of denatured fuel ethanol hit 50.1 million gallons in March, up 49% from February. Two countries accounted for 99% of denatured fuel ethanol exports -- China received 35.3 million gallons, while Canada took in 14.3 million gallons. Brazil was the only other major importer of denatured fuel ethanol in March, bringing in 500,000 gallons.

Undenatured fuel ethanol exports tallied at 41.2 million gallons in March, up 32% from the previous month. At 20.7 million gallons, Brazil received roughly half of the undenatured product shipments.

Others importers of U.S. undenatured ethanol were: India at 4.1 million gallons, Peru at 3.3 million gallons, South Korea at 3.3 million gallons, Jamaica at 2.9 million gallons, Mexico at 2.6 million gallons, and China at 1.7 million gallons.

Exports of denatured and undenatured ethanol for non-fuel, non-beverage use totaled 4.0 million gallons in March, with Canada at 1.9 million gallons and Sweden at 1.6 million gallons taking in the lion's share.

As for U.S. ethanol imports, just a dribble was reported in March. Canada shipped 640 gallons of fuel ethanol to the U.S., bringing the year-to-date total through the first quarter to just 40,325 gallons.

(DG/Cz)