USDA ERS publishes report on ethanol, DDGS export opportunities

By Erin Voegele | November 02, 2017

In October, the USDA Economic Research Service published a report on global ethanol mandates that outlines the opportunities for exports of U.S. ethanol and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS). 

According to the report, more than two dozen countries currently have ethanol mandates in place, while many others have ethanol targets or encourage use of the fuel without setting official requirements. The ERS said that increased use of ethanol globally could provide strong and diverse export opportunities for U.S. ethanol and coproducts.

The 32-page report includes case studies on market potential in Argentina, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Japan, Philippines, Thailand and a group of other countries.

According to the report, the U.S. exported ethanol to more than 50 countries in 2015. Over the past five years, more than 100 countries have imported fuel ethanol from the U.S. The report states that if major economies start implementing their existing target blend rates, U.S. ethanol producers would have much larger foreign market opportunities.

Traditionally, Canada, Brazil and the European Union have been the primary importers of U.S. ethanol. While Canada continues to be the top destination for U.S. ethanol exports, the share of Brazil and the EU have fallen in recent years.

Regarding DDGS, the report shows exports went to 50 countries in 2015, and more than 70 countries over the past decade. According to the report, the U.S. has found export opportunities for DDGS beyond its traditional trade partners of Canada, China, the EU and Mexico. South Korea and Vietnam in particular have recently increased imports of U.S. DDGS.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from the USDA ERS website.