The amount of fuel ethanol the United States exported increased 26% to more than 1 billion gallons, or 68,000 barrels per day, in 2016, from 2015, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration. U.S. imports of ethanol fell 60% to 36 million gallons in 2016, the seventh consecutive year the United States was a net exporter of ethanol. It exported to 34 countries, with Asia and South America receiving the most.
“In the United States, ethanol is primarily used as a blending component in the production of motor gasoline and mainly blended in volumes up to 10% ethanol, also known as E10,” according to the EIA. Corn is the key component used to produce ethanol, and large corn harvests have led to a rise in production recently.
“The United States produced a record 15.1 billion bushels of corn in the 2016-17 harvest year, 11% more than the 2015-16 harvest,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The United States produced 15 billion gallons, or about 1 million barrels per day, of ethanol in 2016, marking a record level of production. The ethanol that wasn’t used for gasoline production was exported, mostly to countries with ethanol mandates and those that use it to increase octane levels. Net exports are expected to rise 6% to 1.2 billion gallons in 2017, from 2016, and possibly “matching or exceeding the record level set in 2011,” according to the EIA.