Demand for the dried distillers grains (DDGs) is strong both in domestic and export markets, said an official with the Renewable Fuels As­­sociation (RFA).

"We are looking at record numbers of hogs and poultry in the U.S., and obviously those animals eat a fair amount of distillers grains," said Geoff Cooper, senior vice president of RFA.

On the export side, Cooper says the industry is exporting about 12 million tons, or one-third of the distillers grains produced now, with just 10 countries making up the bulk of that.

"We’ve seen dramatic growth in exports in the last decade, but a lot of that has been tied to the Chinese market," said Cooper. China accounted for as much as half of DDGs exports two years ago, but that has fallen dramatically in...