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Export Demand Offsets Lower Ethanol Consumption

Ethanol production will be using less corn in the coming year, but exports remain strong.

The USDA dropped by 100 million bushels the amount of corn that will be consumed by U.S. ethanol plants in the next marketing year. However; according to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, the impact on producers will be minimized because of the strong export demand.

"The growing ethanol industry has been critical to corn producers' profitability," says Ken Hobbie, president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council. "But a diverse customer base is essential to the long-term success of U.S. farmers."

The U.S. will export 20 million more bushels this marketing year than USDA had previously estimated and 100 million more next marketing year.
USDA predicts the corn crop currently being harvested will reach 13.3 billion bushels, a production record, so those increased export numbers will be very important.

"It wasn't long ago that we heard a few folks questioning the importance of export markets to the U.S. grain industry as ethanol production grew and used more corn," says Dale Artho, USGC chairman. "The Council kept the future success of our industry in mind as we continued our work to promote U.S. grains and grain products such as distiller's grains around the world. With the largest U.S. corn crop coming in, where would we be if those millions of bushels were still in storage?"

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