2009 Distillers Grains Exports Shatter Previous Record

February 23, 2010 06:00 PM
 

Source: Renewable Fuels Association

If you buy distillers grains to feed to your herd, you might be interested to know that others around the world are doing the same.

The U.S. ethanol industry exported 5.64 million metric tons (mmt) of distillers grains worth nearly $1 billion in 2009, shattering the previous record set in 2008, the Renewable Fuels Association reported recently. The organization relied on data released earlier this month by USDA's Foreign Agriculture Service.

Exports in 2009 were 24% above 2008 levels and more than five times higher than the amount of distillers grains exported just five years ago.

Total U.S. distillers grains production in 2009 was approximately 30.5 mmt, meaning exports accounted for more than 18% of total use. Notably, 2009 distillers grains export levels are equivalent to the total amount of distillers grains produced and used in 2003.

Top export markets for distillers grains in 2009:

  • Mexico - For the fourth straight year, Mexico registered as the top market for U.S. distillers grains exports. Nearly 1.5 mmt, or 27% of total exports, were shipped to Mexico in 2009. Mexico imported 23% more distillers grains in 2009 than in 2008.
  • Canada - Again ranking as the second largest export market for U.S. distillers grains, Canada receiving nearly 804,000 metric tons of U.S. product.
  • China - After importing virtually no distillers grains in 2008, China emerged as the third largest market for U.S. distillers grains exports in 2009 with 542,000 metric tons. China is seen as the largest potential growth market for distiller grains exports.
  • Turkey and Thailand – These two counties ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, as top destinations for U.S. distillers grains exports in 2009.

Distillers grains are the livestock feed co-product of ethanol production from grain. In a typical dry mill ethanol biorefinery, one-third of every bushel of corn entering the facility is returned to the market in the form of high protein, nutrient rich livestock feed. Only the starch portion of the corn kernel is converted to fuel, while the remaining protein, fat and other nutrients remain intact in the co-product.

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