U.S. Biofuels Exports in 2021

Total Export Value
$3.49 Billion
3-Year Average
$2.96 Billion
Compound Average Growth
3.7% (2012-2021)

In 2020, U.S. ethanol exports totaled 1.3 billion gallons valued at $2.3 billion. This volume was 9 percent lower than 2019 due to reduced demand for fuel use, and 20 percent below the record 1.7 billion gallons shipped in 2018. Year-over-year value fell only 1 percent due to higher prices for fuel ethanol and increased shipments of higher-value, medical-grade ethanol.

U.S. fuel ethanol to Brazil saw the largest absolute decline in 2020, due to Brazil’s COVID-19 impacted fuel market and a 40-percent depreciation in Brazil’s currency. Brazil’s 20 percent import duty continued to impact the market. Export volumes were also lower than expected to other fuel markets in 2020, most notably the Philippines, Colombia, and Peru. Sales to Canada held mostly steady as U.S. suppliers backfilled Canada’s increased sales to Europe. By contrast, U.S. fuel ethanol sales to mainland China rose from zero to 21.2 million gallons. Sales to Hong Kong added 10.5 million gallons.

Differing from fuel ethanol markets and driven by demand for hand sanitizer, U.S. exports of other industrial and consumer ethanol rose, most notably to Mexico (up $67 million) and Nigeria (up $25 million). For the remaining top 10 markets, ethanol sales rose to the EU27+UK on strong demand for hand sanitizer and high local fuel ethanol prices, industrial ethanol sales to India inched higher to a record $312 million, and industrial ethanol sales to South Korea dropped as China covered South Korea’s demand for medical-grade product.

More information from the 2020 U.S. Agricultural Export Yearbook

Top 10 Markets for Biofuels in 2021

Market Total Value (USD)
Canada $1.66 Billion
South Korea $333.51 Million
India $265.24 Million
European Union $216.71 Million
China $162.44 Million
Brazil $146.19 Million
Peru $133.55 Million
Mexico $109.3 Million
United Kingdom $102.37 Million
Nigeria $91.37 Million
Top 10 Biofuels Export Markets 2012 - 2021
Annual Biofuels Exports 2012 - 2021

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Data and Analysis

Attaché Report (GAIN)

Brazil: Biofuels Annual

Total Brazilian ethanol production for 2022 is estimated at 31.66 billion liters, an increase of six percent relative to 2021 due to the expected increase in sugarcane production and the steady increase in corn ethanol production.
Attaché Report (GAIN)

China: Biofuels Annual

China’s biofuels policies continue to wane as a priority for the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and investment in the sector has declined. Post estimates China’s 2022 ethanol blend rate at 1.8 percent, down from 2021 and well below the peak blend...
Attaché Report (GAIN)

Canada: Biofuels Annual

Canada’s Clean Fuel Regulation (CFR), Quebec's new low-carbon fuel regulation, and E15 in Ontario (in 2030) are expected to drive up ethanol demand in Canada. The CFR became law on July 6, 2022 and is designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with transportation fuel.

News and Features

Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Daniel Whitley led a USDA trade mission to the Philippines, July 18-21. He was joined by representatives from 29 U.S. agribusinesses and farm organizations and 10 state departments of agriculture, working...
The American agricultural industry posted its highest annual export levels ever recorded in 2021, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced today.
On the first-ever FAS trade mission to Brazil, 22 U.S. companies and farm groups made great headway to expand their agricultural exports and develop their business relationships in Recife and São Paulo. Over the course of five days, as a result of...

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