Biofuels

In 2020, U.S. ethanol exports totaled 1.3 billion gallons valued at $2.3 billion. This volume was 9 percent lower than 2019 due to reduced demand for fuel use, and 20 percent below the record 1.7 billion gallons shipped in 2018. Year-over-year value fell only 1 percent due to higher prices for fuel ethanol and increased shipments of higher-value, medical-grade ethanol.

U.S. fuel ethanol to Brazil saw the largest absolute decline in 2020, due to Brazil’s COVID-19 impacted fuel market and a 40-percent depreciation in Brazil’s currency. Brazil’s 20 percent import duty continued to impact the market. Export volumes were also lower than expected to other fuel markets in 2020, most notably the Philippines, Colombia, and Peru. Sales to Canada held mostly steady as U.S. suppliers backfilled Canada’s increased sales to Europe. By contrast, U.S. fuel ethanol sales to mainland China rose from zero to 21.2 million gallons. Sales to Hong Kong added 10.5 million gallons.

Differing from fuel ethanol markets and driven by demand for hand sanitizer, U.S. exports of other industrial and consumer ethanol rose, most notably to Mexico (up $67 million) and Nigeria (up $25 million). For the remaining top 10 markets, ethanol sales rose to the EU27+UK on strong demand for hand sanitizer and high local fuel ethanol prices, industrial ethanol sales to India inched higher to a record $312 million, and industrial ethanol sales to South Korea dropped as China covered South Korea’s demand for medical-grade product.

More information from the 2020 U.S. Agricultural Export Yearbook

Data and Analysis

Attaché Report (GAIN)

Thailand: Biofuels Annual

Biofuel consumption is expected to remain below target due to the prolonged outbreak of COVID-19 in 2021.
Attaché Report (GAIN)

Japan: Industrial Ethanol Market

This report details trade flows of industrial ethanol to Japan,, where the United States has a limited market share.
Attaché Report (GAIN)

Ecuador: Sugar Annual

As Ecuador's sugar supply and demand find an equilibrium, ethanol production and a possible increase in the ethanol blend rate could help to absorb some excess sugar supply.

News and Features

On the first-ever FAS trade mission to Brazil, 22 U.S. companies and farm groups made great headway to expand their agricultural exports and develop their business relationships in Recife and São Paulo. Over the course of five days, as a result of...
Contact: Krissy Young (202) 720-7400 WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2017 – During a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) trade mission to São Paulo and Recife, Brazil, Sept. 25-29, leaders from 24 U.S. agribusinesses and trade organizations will explore...
Contact: USDA - Sally Klusaritz, Sally.Klusaritz@fas.usda.gov USTR - Andrew Bates, ABates@ustr.eop.gov WASHINGTON, June 26, 2014 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman today announced the appointment of 19...

Get reports, news, and more delivered straight to your inbox