Ethanol Export Numbers Good Despite COVID-19


The numbers for the most recent marketing year that ended on August 31 show there is good news for U.S. ethanol exports. U.S. ethanol exports reached the fifth-highest total on record despite the market challenges brought on by COVID-19. Exports were down eight percent from the previous marketing year, reflecting the challenges that COVID restrictions had on fuel demand and trade.

The first half of the year’s exports occurred before the widespread stay-at-home orders were issued that drastically lowered fuel demand around the world. “The lingering effects of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders were reflected in the global ethanol trade in the most recent marketing year,” says Brian Healy, director of global ethanol market development for the U.S. Grains Council. “Looking forward, more aggressive blend rates that have already been set, or will need to be set, to meet emissions reduction goals, will support increased global ethanol demand and trade.” The USGC says Canada was the top export market for U.S. ethanol over the previous marketing year as fuel demand recovered after being down approximately 14 percent during the previous marketing year. India and South Korea round out the top three market destinations for U.S. ethanol exports.