U.S. Grains Council

U.S. Ethanol Exports Triple to South Korea Thanks to Council Programs

U.S. Ethanol Exports Triple to South Korea Thanks to Council Programs

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has spent over seven years promoting ethanol exports to South Korea. In the 2016 marketing year, South Korea imported 47.3 million gallons of U.S. ethanol. Through a variety of efforts funded in part by the Market Access Program (MAP) and Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP), South Korea’s imports of U.S. ethanol rose to 173.7 million gallons in marketing year 2021/22. These sales, valued at $448.5 million, represent a growth of 126.4 million gallons on an annual basis from six years ago, before the Council was engaging in ethanol promotion efforts.

USGC has promoted U.S. ethanol exports in South Korea since 2016, focusing primarily on educating Korean buyers about the availability and pricing of U.S. ethanol. Efforts to develop this market also include introducing buyers to U.S. suppliers and visiting export hubs. The Council has welcomed buyer teams to the United States and participated in key events such as the Global Ethanol Summit and Asia-Pacific Ethanol Summit. Council activities also include hosting buyers in ethanol procurement courses and facilitating business-to-business meetings.

As part of a cross-organization effort with the Council’s Southeast Asia regional office, the Korean office has promoted the importance of Korean ports as a transshipment market for U.S. ethanol to other key Asian markets.

Facilitating an engagement with other Asian buyers and stakeholders has been a key part of the Council’s strategy. In addition to providing market and policy information to stakeholders in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia, USGC has arranged meetings with local buyers to significantly expand ethanol transshipment exports through the Ulsan Port.

Fast Facts

U.S. Grains Council 1USGC has invested $341,160 of MAP and ATP funds in this work, resulting in an increase of $195.75 million in industrial and fuel ethanol exports to South Korea and Southeast Asia in the past five years, a return on investment of $573 per $1 of MAP and ATP funding invested during that time.

Sustainability Spotlight

According to a USDA report, ethanol production in the United States increased from 3.9 to 14.8 billion gallons per year between 2005 and 2015. The same report found that greenhouse gas emissions associated with producing corn-based ethanol in the U.S. are nearly 43 percent lower than gasoline when measured on an energy equivalent basis. Learn more about the study and USGC sustainability efforts.

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