Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics February 8, 2017.


Copyright 2017 University of Nebraska.


Distillers’ Dried Grains with Soluble (DDGS) is a coproduct 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). The second largest exporter in 2015 was Canada, exporting only 0.54 million tons, 3.2% of the world exports. China was the largest importer of DDGS in 2015, importing 7.52 million tons representing 45.1% of total world imports, followed by Mexico importing 1.73 million tons, 10.4% of the world exports (Figure 2) (UN Comtrade Database 2015).