US June ethanol exports up on year, down on month: USDA

07.08.2017

The US exported 351.1 million liters (92.7 million gallons) of ethanol in June, down 22.2% month on month but 100% higher than a year ago, Department of Agriculture data showed Friday.

June's levels reflected market expectations of slightly lower exports as domestic prices climbed above export destinations. Exports have been key for the US ethanol market as record production levels have outpaced domestic demand.

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Though down month on month, exports through June were the highest on record for a first half of any year. Canada, Brazil and India were the top destinations for fuel ethanol in June, taking 90.7 million liters, 79.1 million liters and 51.6 million liters, respectively.

Canada is a consistent source of demand for US ethanol, frequently topping the list of buyers of US ethanol. In Brazil, high sugar prices have encouraged Brazilian sugarcane crushers to divert more of the crush to sugar and away from ethanol, encouraging ethanol imports from the US.

June saw Brazil falter as the sugarcane crush got underway and producers in the country began to take on more of the demand. Rumors of a possible import tariff on ethanol into Brazil also worried market participants, reducing US export volumes.

Total US exports in 2017 should reach 4.5 billion liters, a 14% increase from 2016, according to Kingsman, the agricultural analysis unit of S&P Global Platts.

The increase comes despite the loss of China, one the biggest markets for US fuel ethanol in 2016, after the country adjusted the tariff on ethanol imports to 30% from 5% at the beginning of the year.


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