April 16 (Renewables Now) - The US exported 218.7 million gallons (827.9 million litres) of ethanol in February, a monthly record, the US Grains Council (USGC) said last week, citing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Since the start of the current marketing year in September 2017 through February, US ethanol exports are up 6% over last year's record levels to almost 768 million gallons.
Brazil imported nearly 253 million gallons of US ethanol in the six-month period, including 103 million gallons in February alone, a record for a single month, in spite of the 20% tariff that Brazil imposed in September 2017 on all ethanol imports beyond a 600-million-litre (158.5 million gallon) quota.
"Inter-harvest sugar shortages in Brazil have raised domestic ethanol prices and opened the market even further to US imports," said USGC chief economist Mike Dwyer.
The second largest importer since the start of the marketing year was Canada, followed by India, which currently only buys US ethanol for industrial purposes like textiles and agrochemicals. Exports to India were up 24% year-over-year to 83 million gallons.
China also increased its imports 18% in spite of trade tensions between the US and China and tariffs on US biofuel, the organisation said.
There were also great increases of exports to the EU and Singapore, which are both used as transshipment points, to the Middle East and other Asian markets, respectively.