Feb 10, 2012  |  Today's News

Isn’t it funny how in the same country that can produce a homegrown, renewable fuel 60 cents a gallon cheaper than when using imported petroleum, the news is that the homegrown industry is hanging on by FOREIGN market purchases? It’s not funny ha-ha, it’s funny shake-your-head in disbelief.

The U.S. ethanol industry is staying afloat based on export sales at this point. As oil and gas prices approach their highs again, ethanol plants are struggling. In fact, a plant in the northern plains closed just this week. With the political tide still turned against corn based ethanol, Congress struggles to fulfill its commitment to the Renewable Fuels Standard and the White House struggles to create its green economy. And the detractors, well, they’re still chuckling under their breath as our economy stifles.

This week, as well, you’ve seen opponents to corn-based ethanol gain traction in their fight to block U.S. EPA’s final approval of E-15. Their arguments are tired, worn, and disproven, but that doesn’t seem to matter.

Illinois Corn Growers Association remains committed to carrying your messages to Springfield and Washington on this issue and others. And the Illinois Corn Marketing Board knows that there’s much research work to be done to provide the fact-based research that refutes the make-believe attacks on the only commercially viable alternative to petroleum based fuel.

And the beat goes on…

Here’s the latest information on 2011 ethanol exports:

The official numbers are in and they confirm what the industry has known all year: 2011 was a huge year for ethanol exports. The annual total for 2011 was 1.19 billion gallons, more than triple the 2010 export total of 396 mg. Brazil was the leading importer of U.S. ethanol in 2011, receiving 33% of total shipments. Exports accounted for approximately 8.6% of U.S. ethanol production in 2011, up from 3% in 2010 and 1% in 2009.


December exports of denatured ethanol totaled 136.5 mg, a new monthly record. Top destinations included Brazil (53.4 mg), Canada (36.7 mg), the United Kingdom (21.8 mg), United Arab Emirates (11.8 mg) and Oman (6.6 mg).

Undenatured ethanol exports tallied 36.2 mg in December. Brazil (20.3 mg), the United Kingdom (4.8 mg), Netherlands (3.7 mg), Nigeria (3.2 mg), and Mexico (2.7 mg) were top importing destinations.


For the year, the U.S. exported 909.6 mg of denatured ethanol and 283.5 mg of undenatured (non-beverage) ethanol. Brazil was the leading importer of U.S. ethanol at 395.6 mg. Canada was the second-leading importer of U.S. ethanol in 2011, taking in 297.3 mg, almost all of which was denatured. The Netherlands (124.1 mg) and United Kingdom (119.4 mg) ranked third and fourth, respectively for the year. The United Arab Emirates, an OPEC member country, ranked fifth with 64.8 mg of imports from the U.S.

Distillers grains exports for 2011 totaled 7.65 million metric tons (mt), down 15% from 2010. Mexico was the top importer, receiving 1.78 million mt (23%), followed by China with 1.39 million mt (18%). Canada (737,689 mt), Vietnam (499,523 mt) and Japan (301,234 mt) rounded out the top five.