Council Industrial Ethanol Promotion In South Korea Supports 44.8 Percent Import Increase Over Two Years

U.S. Grains Council programs funded through the Market Access Program (MAP) helped industrial ethanol buyers in South Korea expand their supply lines with the United States, resulting in increased U.S. ethanol exports to Korea and Korea becoming an ethanol transshipment hub for countries in Southeast Asia.

The Council invited the largest ethanol buyer in Asia, KC&A, and its sister company, Korea Alcohol Industrial Co. to participate in a Bioethanol Advisory and Industry Team and to attend the Asia Pacific Ethanol Summit in 2019. These programs enabled KC&A not only to expand contracts with existing U.S. ethanol suppliers but also to meet new exporters and sign new export contracts.

As a result, $118.2 million of U.S. ethanol was exported to South Korea in 2019, an increase of 44.8 percent compared to 2017, which totaled $81.6 million. By volume, this increase was 55.1 percent, from 41.4 million gallons to 64.2 million gallons. Driven by these sales, Korea’s Ulsan Port is becoming an important transshipment port for exports of U.S. industrial and fuel ethanol to Southeast Asia. Ulsan can accept large tank vessels, ultimately reducing transportation cost to Southeast Asia and increasing the competitivity of U.S. ethanol in the region.

The Council has invested $240,000 in MAP funds in these promotion programs resulting in an increase of $33.5 million in industrial ethanol exports to South Korea over the past three years, an ROI of $140 per $1 MAP invested over three years.

Learn more about the Council’s work to open the South Korean market.