USA – US exports of feed grains increased by 25.2% to 38.9 million metric tons in the first four months of 2018/19, boosted by exports of corn, dried distillers’ grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s report and analysis by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the US feed grains and ethanol experienced growing demand during the period.

The expansion was attributed to shifting dynamics in world markets and continuous market development efforts.

The period was characterized by increased purchases of US feed grains in both established and developing markets, said the report.

US corn purchases increased by 64.6% to 20.4 million tons (803 million bushels), with Mexico remaining the largest buyer at 6.09 million tons (240 million bushels) with a 20% increase in imports thus far in the marketing year.

Japan was the largest buyer of US corn, and in the last marketing year, it nearly doubled the purchases to 4.31 million tons (170 million bushels).

Colombia came to number three in purchasing US corn, which it uses in feed plants, food processing, manure processing and liquid egg production.

Other top US corn importers in the marketing year included South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, Guatemala and Saudi Arabia, who all saw an increase in imports.

Egyptian purchases of U.S. corn jumped to 530,000 tons (20.9 million bushels), breaking into the top 10 buyers.

U.S. DDGS exports increased by 5.3% to 3.95 million tons with eight of the top ten buyers increasing purchases in the marketing year.

Mexico represents the largest U.S. DDGS buyer at 616,000 tons, with significant rises in Vietnam.

Southeast Asian buyers, including Indonesia and Thailand, continue to increase imports of U.S. DDGS, up 11% and 36%, respectively.

The report indicates that purchasing by the European Union, Canada and Japan are also up year-over-year.

US ethanol exports continue to rapidly grow, resulting in an overall increase of 18.2% to nearly 553 million gallons.

U.S. exports to Brazil, the largest purchaser of U.S. ethanol increased 48 percent year-over-year to 148 million gallons.

Brazil is said to be supplementing domestic ethanol production with U.S. ethanol to satisfy domestic demand.

Canada, European Union, the Philippines, Colombia and Peru were also among the top market destinations for US ethanol exports.

Regional increases in demand resulted in an 11% increase of exports to Canada at 122 million gallons as individual provinces work to boost blend rates beyond the mandated E5 national level.

As both countries seek to implement new biofuels policies, market potential for U.S. ethanol continues to look promising, according to the report.