Distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) is the main co-product of corn ethanol produced in dry-mill plants. Since 2007, on average, 97.1% of total DDGS production has come from dry-mill ethanol facilities with the remaining 2.9% coming from beverage distilleries. For each bushel of corn (56 pounds) used to produce ethanol, about 17 pounds of distillers grains are manufactured, so the expansion of dry-mill corn-base ethanol production in the U.S. has brought a substantial increase in the supply of DDGS. In 2014/15 about 36 million metric tons (MMT) of DDGS were produced in U.S. dry-mill corn-based ethanol plants, with the largest proportion (about 72%) consumed by the U.S. domestic livestock and poultry sectors.  Since the latest USDA estimate for 2015/16 corn use for ethanol and co-products is the same as in 2014/15 (5.2 billion bushels)[1], the estimate for the 2015/16 DDGS production stands at about 36 MMT.

Besides being consumed by the U.S. domestic livestock and poultry sectors, DDGS is being shipped to foreign markets where demand for DDGS has been growing. As Figure 1 shows, the United States exported a total of 7.6 MMT of DDGS during the 2011/12 marketing year and in 2013/14 DDGS exports reached a record high volume of 12 MMT, increasing 58% from the 2011/12 level.

[1] The 2015/16 corn use for ethanol and co-products was reported in the September 12, 2016 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report.  About 89.3% of corn used for ethanol and co-products is processed in dry-mill plants; the rest is processed in wet-mill plants.

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