Sound Market Development Efforts Lead To New Ethanol Export Record
Partnering with the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and corn state checkoffs – and with support from the Market Access Program (MAP) program funds and member contributions – the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has been able to help promote corn ethanol sales globally for a new export record in marketing year 2017/2018 of nearly 1.62 billion gallons.
Calendar year 2018 saw USGC ethanol activities in China, Japan, South Korea, Colombia, Peru, Canada, Mexico, India, the Philippines and Taiwan.
Additionally, the Council provided public comments and scientific data on numerous foreign countries’ biofuel regulatory framework processes and continues to defend the U.S. ethanol industry on trade policy issues occurring in Brazil, Peru, Colombia, India and Mexico.
As a result of these efforts and the competitiveness of U.S. corn-based ethanol, sales of the biofuel valued at nearly $2.7 billion were exported worldwide.
Top customers included Brazil, Canada, India, the European Union and China. This export figure beats the previous record of nearly 1.4 billion gallons exported in marketing year 2016/2017. Additionally, the U.S. market share of total global ethanol exports continued to hold steady at 65 percent.
Increased ethanol exports have a direct impact on corn and sorghum farmers in the Midwest as they continue to face low commodity prices and depressed farm incomes. As global demand for U.S. coarse grains has remained relatively flat over the last decade, value-added products such as ethanol have increased returns for producers.
The USGC’s ethanol program began in 2014 as a push to increase the exports of value-added coarse grain products. As nations become increasingly more concerned with greenhouse (GHG) emissions as well as air quality and its effects on human health, the Council has promoted the benefits of blending ethanol with fuel from environmental, human health and economics standpoints.