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U.S. Unseats Brazil Once Again as Top Ethanol Exporter

Boosted by another bumper corn crop, the U.S. exported 872 million gallons or 3.3 billion liters of ethanol in the 2014/15 marketing year, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Economic Research Service (ERS), surpassing Brazil for the third time since 2011 to become the top ethanol exporting country in the world, according to the U.S. Grains Council.

Over the past decade since the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was implemented, U.S. production of ethanol has soared. However, due to low investment interest, a lack of infrastructure with the advanced ability to distribute gasoline blended with ethanol above 10% has challenged growth for domestic consumption. Combined with low corn prices and high output, U.S. ethanol producers have been seeking out overseas markets for their product.

Meanwhile, Brazilian ethanol exports have decreased by 50% from 766 million gallons, or 2.9 billion liters in 2013 to 493 million gallons or 1.9 billion liters in 2015, according to the most recent data from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. In addition, Brazil recently increased its blending mandate from 25% to 27.5% which will likely result in even higher domestic consumption and even greater export market share for U.S. producers in the future.

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