WASHINGTON — While oil and environmental interests seek to block the growth of the ethanol market in the U.S., other nations around the world are increasing their use of American-made ethanol.
According to data released recently by the federal government, U.S. ethanol exports in July set a new monthly record. Exports of denatured and undenatured (non-beverage) ethanol totaled 127.4 million gallons in July, edging out the April 2011 total of 120.1 million gallons to set a new record.
July exports were nearly double the amount exported in June. Ethanol exports through July of this year total 588.5 million gallons. That is more ethanol than was exported in 2009 and 2010 combined. The U.S. is on pace to export up to 900 million gallons of ethanol in 2011.
“Demand for a cleaner, more reliable alternative to oil is growing across the globe and America’s ethanol producers are filling that need,” said Geoff Cooper, Renewable Fuels Association vice president .
“Unfortunately, domestic ethanol producers are forced to look at export markets as special interests and some policymakers are working overtime to prevent America from using more of its own renewable fuels.
“American ethanol producers are the most efficient, cost effective suppliers of ethanol in the world. If this nation doesn’t want to harness its own renewable resources, it is evident that other nations will.”
Unprecedented U.S. ethanol exports continue to be driven by the fact that corn ethanol is currently the lowest-cost motor fuel source in the world.
High sugar prices and lower-than-expected sugarcane ethanol output in South America have allowed the U.S. to overtake Brazil as the world’s leading ethanol exporter. In fact, Brazil and Canada are neck and neck as the leading importers of U.S. ethanol so far in 2011.
Exports of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), the animal feed co-product resulting from grain ethanol production, totaled 644,525 metric tons in July, up nearly 8 percent from June.
Mexico continued as the top DDGS export, receiving 156,400 metric tons in July. China (106,606 mt), Canada (63,707 mt), the United Kingdom (47,513 mt), and Vietnam (40,265 mt) rounded out the top five.
Notably, exports to China have increased in three consecutive months after sliding significantly from late 2010 through April 2011. Year-to-date DDGS exports total 4.43 million metric tons, meaning the U.S. is on pace to export roughly 7.6 million metric tons in 2011.
“Whether its fuel or feed, America’s ethanol producers are reducing the need for oil imports, helping feed the nation’s livestock population, and improve our balance of trade,” said Cooper. “Domestic ethanol production is the kind of innovative industry of which America needs more.”