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USGC data: ethanol exports are fastest growing US agricultural export

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New research carried out by the US Grains Council (USGC) has found that non-beverage ethanol has been the fastest growing US agricultural export over the past five years.

In 2018, American ethanol export totalled over 6.1 billion litres, equal to 609 million bushels of corn, with an estimated value of $2.7 billion (€2.4 billion).

The USGC used trade data on 47 agricultural and agriculture-related product groups tracked by the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA’s FAS), finding that the volume of ethanol exports has grown by 18% over the past five years.

Overall exports of ethanol from the 2016/17 marketing year to the 2017/18 marketing year were up 18% by volume, and 14% by value. In total, exports increased by over $330 million (€299 million) year-on-year.

This increase in exports supported 2,700 jobs in the US farming sector, for a total of 22,740 jobs supported by US ethanol exports (using the USDA’s Economic Research Service agricultural trade data multipliers).

The council noted that the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) programme, together with US industry funds, have contributed to the increase in ethanol exports globally.

Moreover, two events – the Ethanol Summit of the Americas and Ethanol Summit of the Asia Pacific – were acknowledged as milestones in engaging countries that had marketable increases in exports during this period. The events helped to educated ministry and industry officials in the regions on the benefits of using ethanol, the policies of neighbouring countries, as well as production and handling processes.

US corn producers, ethanol producers and related industries have been the greatest beneficiaries of this increase in exports, in addition to the rural economies they support in the US Midwest.

Since 2017, the USGC has invested around $6 million (€5.4 million) of FMD and MAP funds to facilitate an expansion of ethanol exports worth $330 million (€299 million).