Ethanol Exports Reached Record-High 1.01 Billion Gallons in 2016

Dan Energy, Industry News Release

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 today by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

Gross U.S. 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 U.S. ethanol exports, followed by Canada and China. Together, the three countries accounted for 68 percent of total ethanol exports.

“U.S.-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 U.S. was a net importer of Brazilian ethanol, but as U.S. producers have become more efficient and world sugar prices have risen, Brazil is now the top recipient of our domestic product.”


“Consumers in dozens of countries around the world are now reaping the benefits of U.S. ethanol: better engine performance, reduced emissions and lower cost. RFA will continue to work with its partners to build on the successes of 2016 and further develop the global market for ethanol,” Dinneen added.

Among other facts from the data:

U.S. ethanol exports were valued at $2.02 billion in 2016, up 13 percent 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 percent of total exports in 2016; and

Exports to South America and East Asia had explosive growth in 2016, increasing 118 percent and 69 percent, respectively, over 2015 levels.

Printed copies of this analysis will available to attendees at RFA’s upcoming National Ethanol Conference, held Feb. 20–22 in San Diego. Meantime, the conference will also serve as host to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Buyer Program (IBP). Through the department’s network of offices in U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide, the IBP recruits pre-screened foreign buyer delegations and brings them to selected trade shows and conferences in the United States, connecting U.S. companies with international buyers. Representatives from 16 countries, including China, India, Brazil, Mexico, and South Korea, are expected to attend.

View RFA’s summary here.