RFA: Net US ethanol exports reached 1.01-B gallons in 2016, a record high

WASHINGTON — Net exports of ethanol from the United States set a new record of 1.01 billion gallons in 2016, according to a new eight-page summary of 2016 ethanol trade data published by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

Gross US ethanol exports totaled 1.05 billion gallons in 2016, second only to 2011’s record of 1.19 billion gallons. Meanwhile, ethanol imports registered at just 34 million gallons, the lowest total since 2010. Brazil was the leading destination for US ethanol exports, followed by Canada and China. Together, the three countries accounted for 68% of total ethanol exports.

“US-produced ethanol continues to be the lowest-cost, cleanest octane source on the planet. Our industry produced 15.2 billion gallons of ethanol last year, and while we continue to meet our domestic needs, ethanol exports are essential for future growth,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Just a few years ago, the US was a net importer of Brazilian ethanol, but as US producers have become more efficient and world sugar prices have risen, Brazil is now the top recipient of our domestic product.”

Among other facts from the data:

  • S. ethanol exports were valued at $2.02 billion in 2016, up 13% from 2015 and the third-highest on record;
  • For the first time, undenatured ethanol for fuel use overtook denatured fuel ethanol as the leading ethanol export product, accounting for 51% of total exports in 2016; and
  • Exports to South America and East Asia had explosive growth in 2016, increasing 118% and 69%, respectively, over 2015 levels.

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