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USGC: ethanol takes top spot for US agricultural exports over past decade

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The US Grains Council (USGC) has revealed that non-beverage ethanol has taken the top spot as the fastest growing US agricultural export over the past 10 years.

Last year, exports totalled over 6.5 billion litres of US ethanol, worth $2.7 billion (€2.4 billion).

Analysis of trade data from the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS) shows that the volume of ethanol exports increased by 18% per  year over the past five years, and 13% per year over the past 10 years.

“Ethanol is the perfect candidate for foreign market development since few countries fully understand the multitude of benefits that comes from blending it into gasoline,” said Mike Dwyer, USGC chief economist.

America’s share of global ethanol exports reached a record 61% in 2018, according to the USGC, an increase from just 9% a decade ago.

During this period, the US has moved from being the world’s largest ethanol importer to its largest exporter.

“At the end of the day, foreign market development is about educating buyers and policy-makers overseas on the complete value proposition conveyed by the product – in this case, ethanol,” added Dwyer.

“Our ethanol program focuses on how ethanol blending at E10 or higher can reduce the carbon intensity of finished fuel that many countries seek, has fewer emissions associated with air pollution, fewer threats to human health and with an octane value so high that US ethanol is now the lowest-priced octane in the world, compared against other countries’ ethanol as well as fossil fuel alternatives. This offers motorists tangible fuel savings when blended optimally into their gasoline.”

Full data can be accessed on the USGC website here.