U.S. distillers' grains exports nearly doubled last year, rising 91% from 2.36 million metric tons (mmt) in 2007 to 4.51 mmt in 2008, according to data recently released by the Foreign Agriculture Service. Exports in 2008 nearly quadrupled over 2006 export levels.
Distillers' grains are the livestock feed coproduct 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.
The amount of distillers' grains exported in 2008 is equivalent to the feed value of 4.3 mmt (170 million bushels) of whole corn and 1.3 mmt of soybean meal. Total U.S. distillers' grains production in 2008 was approximately 22 mmt, meaning exports accounted for roughly 20% of total shipments.
Top Markets for Distillers' Grains:
- For the third straight year, Mexico registered as the top market for U.S. distillers' grains exports. Nearly 1.2 mmt, or 26% of total exports, were shipped to Mexico in 2008. Mexico imported 68% more distillers' grains in 2008 than in 2007.
- Canada again ranked as the second largest export market for U.S. distillers' grains, receiving nearly 772,000 metric tons of U.S. product. Exports to Canada in 2008 were more than double the 2007 levels.
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- Turkey emerged as the third largest market for U.S. distillers' grains exports in 2008. More than 465,000 metric tons were shipped in 2008, more than triple the amount shipped in 2007.