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RFA releases statistical reports on US ethanol and distillers grains 2020 trade

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has released two reports summarizing 2020 US ethanol and distillers grains exports and imports. These annual reports provide industry advocates, policymakers, the media, and the general public with the latest data on the global role US ethanol and distillers grains play.
"US ethanol producers should be proud of the positive impact they had on the lives of millions of consumers around the globe in 2020," commented Geoff Cooper, President, and CEO of RFA.

Over 1.334 billion (US) gallons (≈ 5.03 billion litres) —10% of the ethanol produced in the United States—were exported to 90 countries in 2020. The Top 10 markets are shown as a percentage of the 2020 export volume (graphic courtesy RFA).

The export/import trade summary report on ethanol provides annual and monthly data on US ethanol exports, highlighting the fact that more than 1.334 billion (US) gallons (≈ 5.03 billion litres) —10 percent of the ethanol produced in the United States—were exported in 2020.

While this is 9 percent lower than 2019, it remains the fourth largest export volume in history. This ethanol, valued at US$2.33 billion, was shipped to 90 countries on six continents. Canada was the top export destination, taking in nearly a quarter of US ethanol exports in 2020, followed by Brazil and India.

The United States brought in less than 200 million gallons (≈ 757 million litres) of ethanol imports, meaning the industry remained a net exporter by a large margin in 2020. Maps depicting the leading ports of entry and departure for ethanol imports and exports are offered in the reports, as are figures showing the annual economic value of American ethanol exports.

The second report released covers US exports of distillers grains, a high-protein co-product of dry mill ethanol production used in livestock and poultry feed, which totaled almost 11 million tonnes in 2020, a slight improvement on 2019 and the seventh straight year these exports exceeded 10 million tonnes.

A record-high share of total US distillers grains production—38 percent—was exported in 2020. Mexico remained the top destination for US distillers grains, representing 16 percent of total shipments,  followed by Vietnam and South Korea. US distillers grains exports had an aggregate value of US$2.33 billion in 2020, the fifth-highest on record.

Exports continued to be a major demand driver for the US ethanol industry in 2020, even as producers coped with the impacts of a global pandemic and ongoing trade wars. As these reports show, the value of our industry’s exports approached US$5 billion in 2020, making a significant contribution to our nation’s balance of trade and underscoring the growing worldwide need for low-carbon, high-octane fuel, and high-protein animal feed. US ethanol producers should be proud of the positive impact they had on the lives of millions of consumers around the globe in 2020, commented Geoff Cooper, President and CEO of RFA.

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