USDA is crediting a May 2014 trade visit to China as a catalyst for bigger ethanol exports.
"Our objective for every trade mission is to create new markets for farm products made in rural America," says USDA Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse, who led the mission. "U.S. ethanol exports to China have jumped from $8 million to more than $86 million since our May 2014 visit. In October, we exported more ethanol to China than in the previous 10 years combined."
China is now the largest export market for U.S. food and farm products, accounting for about 20% of all foreign U.S. agricultural sales. From 2005 to 2014, ethanol exports to China averaged less than $3 million per year. That was eclipsed in October 2015 alone, which saw $57 million worth of ethanol exports surge into China.
USDA also partnered in 2015 with 21 states through the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership to add nearly 5,000 ethanol pumps into the nation’s fuel infrastructure.
"These are the kind of initiatives that strengthen our rural communities, and open new doors and help our farmers and ranchers capitalize on the tremendous export potential for American agricultural products," Scuse says.
The U.S. exported an unprecedented $911.3 billion of agricultural products between 2009 and 2015.