Year-end DDGS export figures down from 2010, as expected

By Holly Jessen | February 17, 2012

Record-breaking 2010 exports of dried distillers grains with solubles were a hard act to follow in 2011, particularly considering the impact of the Chinese anti-dumping investigation launched at the end of 2010. A total of 7.65 million metric tons of U.S. DDGS were exported in 2011, down 15 percent from the previous year, said Geoff Cooper, vice president of research and analysis for RFA.

The decrease was anticipated. Although total export numbers are down from 2010 to 2011, it’s still a 2 million metric ton increase from the amount exported in 2009.

Exports to China grew by leaps and bounds in 2010, growing from modest exports of 1,150 metric tons in 2007 to becoming the No. 1 importer of U.S. DDGS in 2010. In 2011 the country dropped to the No. 2 spot, bringing in 1.39 million metric tons of DDGS. The deadline to announce the results of the anti-dumping case was extended until June 28.

At the top of the list of importers was Mexico, which brought in 1.78 million metric tons of U.S. DDGS. Canada came after China, importing nearly 738,000 metric tons. The countries in the No. 4 and No. 5 spots were Vietnam and Japan, importing nearly 500,000 metric tons and more than 300,000 metric tons respectively.

The U.S. Grains Council recently pointed out that Vietnam is the fastest growing feed market in Asia. Although the country fills its corn needs mostly with domestic supplies and imports from nearby countries, USGS feels the country has a good market potential, including for increased use of U.S. DDGS. Overall, U.S. agricultural exports to the country grew by five times from 2006 to 2010, becoming the 15th largest market for U.S. ag products and the eighth largest market for U.S. feedstuffs. The country imported only 633 metric tons of DDGS in 2004, according to data from the Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau and Foreign Trade Statistics. The country was, at that time, No. five on the list of top ten importing nations. By 2008, Vietnam was bringing in more than 117,000 tons.