Wisconsin ethanol industry sets new export record

Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin Business News  • Posted: Friday, February 17, 2012

Wisconsin agricultural exports reached a record high in 2011 at $285 billion, with Wisconsin-produced ethanol as one of the top exports for the year.

Ethanol exports increased from $14 million in 2010 to $243 million in 2011. Additionally, state exports of Dried Distillers Grains or DDGs, a co-product of ethanol production that is used as a feed product, increased from $24.7 million in 2010 to $28.5 million in 2011.

“We know that there is a significant demand, both domestically and internationally, for Wisconsin ethanol and ethanol co-products,” says Josh Morby, executive director of the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance. “Wisconsin is ranked fourth in the nation for ethanol exports and ninth in the nation for the export of DDGs.”

According to recently released numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, beverages were the second most valuable agricultural export category in 2011 for Wisconsin, valued at $318 million. This category primarily includes ethanol. Exports of that category increased 214 percent from 2010 to 2011.

“Ethanol producers in Wisconsin were able to take advantage of increased global demand for their product in 2011, a trend that we anticipate will continue into 2012,” Morby said. “This is very good news for our state’s nine ethanol producers and their employees. We must encourage our state’s industries to take advantage of these international opportunities, which will further encourage growth back here in Wisconsin.”