2011 US ethanol exports expected to total 1.11 billion gallons

By Holly Jessen | January 17, 2012

By the end of 2011, the U.S. ethanol industry will have exported more than twice the amount of ethanol than was exported the year before. Government data released Jan. 13 shows 1.02 billion gallons of U.S. ethanol was exported through November, and when the final numbers are available, total 2011 exports should reach 1.11 billion gallons, according to Geoff Cooper, vice president of research and analysis, who tracks the data for the Renewable Fuels Association.

Nearly half the total ethanol exported in November went to Brazil. Although data on ethanol imports is not yet available, Cooper said anecdotal evidence suggests Brazil is continuing to export its sugarcane ethanol to the U.S., while the U.S. exports corn ethanol to Brazil, referring to this as the ethanol shuffle. 

November export totals for denatured ethanol set a record of 115.4 million gallons, passing up the previous record of 104.6 million gallons set in July, Cooper said. The top two importers, Brazil and Canada, imported 45 and 27 million gallons respectively. India put itself on the radar by importing 10 million gallons, its first major shipment of U.S. ethanol in 2011.

Undenatured (non-beverage) ethanol exports were at 37.1 million gallons in November, a few hundred thousand gallons more than the previous record of 36.9 million gallons set in October. Seventy-two percent of the undenatured ethanol went to Brazil, or a total of 27 million gallons. Other top destinations were Jamaica, Mexico and the Netherlands.