A Short Introduction to the Distillers’ Dried Grains Export Market

A Short Introduction to the Distillers’ Dried Grains Export Market

Vanessa DeOliveira, Masters student, Department of Agricultural Economics
Kate Brooks, assistant professor, Department of Agricultural Economics
Lia Nogueira, assistant professor, Department of Agricultural Economics

Chart of DDGS exports in 2015
Figure 1: Total DDGS exports by country in 2015.

Distillers’ dried grains with soluble (DDGS) is a co-product from ethanol production which can be used as an alternative feedstuff in livestock rations. Ethanol, and consequently DDGS, production has increased dramatically since 2000. Ethanol production increased by 12.9 billion gallons, a 760% increase between 2000 and 2015, with the majority of this increase after 2007. This increase in ethanol production contributed to an increase of over 37.75 million tons in DDGS production, or 1,646% between 2000 and 2015.

In 2015, the United States produced about 40.23 million tons of DDGS (USDA ERS Database 2015). Of this total DDGS production, approximately 66% of DDGS were consumed domestically while the remaining 34% was exported. U.S. Exports of DDGS have also been increasing. Between 2000 and 2015, U.S. DDGS exports increased by 12.94 million tons, a 1,439% increase. Just between 2014 and 2015 U.S. exports increased approximately 2 million tons, a 17.3% increase. In 2015, the United States delivered DDGS to 46 countries around the world compared to only 22 countries in 2000 (UN Comtrade Database 2015).

The United States was the largest exporter of DDGS in the world in 2015, exporting 13.84 million tons representing 82.8% of the total world exports (Figure 1).

Read the rest of this article on the Cornhusker Economics site.