US Ethanol Exports Up 12% in August

NEW YORK (DTN) -- Fuel ethanol exports by the United States totaled 77.9 million gallons in August, up 12% from July, according to trade data released Wednesday by the Census Bureau and analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association.

Brazil, Canada and India were the top destination for U.S. ethanol, the data showed. Brazil increased its purchases of U.S. ethanol by 65% over July to 25.1 million gallons, which represents 32% of total exports and edged out Canada's 20.9 million gallons, or 27% of the exports. India also increased its purchases of U.S. product to 14.0 million gallons, or 18% of the exports.

The remaining quarter of U.S. exports were carved out in smaller portions to 31 different markets that included China at 1.5 million gallons, or less than 2% of the exports.

Year-to-date exports stood at 594.3 million gallons, implying an annual total of 891.4 million gallons for calendar year 2016.

August exports of U.S. denatured fuel ethanol fell 10% from the prior month to 19.8 million gallons. Most denatured product moved within close proximity of U.S. borders with 17.8 million gallons or 90% crossing to Canada and 1.9 million gallons or 9.8% to Jamaica, with scant amounts heading to the Bahamas, Kuwait and Mexico.

Export sales of undenatured fuel ethanol jumped by 15% over July to 50.6 million gallons, only the second time in 18 months to breach 50 million gallons. Brazil increased its imports to 25.1 million gallons -- half of all U.S. shipments -- as did India at 14.0 million gallons (28%). The Philippines reduced its draw from a large July offtake, down to 3.8 million gallons (8%). Other notable destinations were Peru (2.2 million gallons), Mexico (1.8 million gallons), China (1.5 million gallons) and Singapore (1.1 million gallons).

Sales of denatured ethanol for non-fuel use tripled over July to 1.1 million gallons, particularly given Mexico's purchase of 777,371 gallons. Similarly, August sales of undenatured ethanol for nonfuel, non-beverage use more than doubled over the prior month to 6.5 million gallons -- the highest level on record since March 2012. More than half of those shipments were destined for Nigeria (3.4 million gallons), with Canada picking up 3.0 million gallons (47%) of the shipments.

For the third straight month, sizable volumes of shipments of ethanol were imported into the United States. Brazil shipped 10.7 million gallons of undenatured fuel, a 2% increase over July. Despite the nearly 32 million gallons of imports streaming in this summer, the year-to-date total of 33.7 million gallons is running just 3% ahead of 2015, and suggests annual imports in 2016 of 50.5 million gallons.

George Orwel can be reached at