U.S. ethanol exports in January largest since late 2014

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Reuters file photo.

CHICAGO – U.S. monthly ethanol exports rose to the highest levels in more than a year in January, boosted by near-record shipments to China, U.S. Department ofAgriculture┬ádata showed on Friday.

Exports of U.S. ethanol totaled 87.1 million gallons in January, well above the 68.7 million gallons in the same month in 2015 and the largest since exporting 88.7 million gallons in November 2014, USDA data showed.

Biofuel producers such as Archer Daniels Midland Co and Green Plains Inc have said overseas shipments are key to the industry that is battling record-large ethanol stockpiles while prices trade at a premium to gasoline , which make ethanol less attractive for blending.

China was the top destination in January, with exports of 29.4 million gallons, down compared with the record monthly total of 32.6 million gallons seen in October.

“This market is heavily oversupplied and I don’t think exports alone are a panacea,” a U.S. cash ethanol trader said. “China is slated to ramp up their domestic production due to high corn stocks and probably won’t take as many barrels as it did last year.”

Shipments to Canada, which for years was the top market for U.S. ethanol, declined for the fourth straight month to 13.7 million gallons, down 36 percent from the 21.3 million gallons seen in the previous month.