Sustainable Energy

Corn Exports Shrivel as U.S. Ethanol Demand Grows

As the world’s biggest exporter of corn diverts more and more of its crop to make fuel, it’s sending less to the global marketplace.

As an increasing amount of U.S. corn is being used to meet rising ethanol demand, the United States—the world’s dominant producer and exporter of corn—is exporting less.

The first chart shows how the use of U.S. domestic corn has changed over time. The portion of U.S.-grown corn used to make fuel reached 40 percent last year, and will be about the same this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At the same time, the worst drought in half a century throughout the Midwest corn belt has led to severely shrunken forecasts for this year’s United States corn crop, raising concerns that exports will further decrease, intensifying the risk of an international food crisis.

The second chart shows the annual U.S. corn exports since 2005. Though the number of U.S. acres planted with corn was the highest since the late 1930s, this year, U.S. exports have been on a steady decline, dropping from over 60 percent of the world’s corn exports in 2005 to less than 40 percent last year.

Tech Obsessive?
Become an Insider to get the story behind the story — and before anyone else.

Subscribe today

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Sustainable Energy

Can we sustainably provide food, water, and energy to a growing population during a climate crisis?

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe and become an Insider.
  • Insider Premium {! insider.prices.premium !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Our award winning magazine, unlimited access to our story archive, special discounts to MIT Technology Review Events, and exclusive content.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

    First Look. Exclusive early access to stories.

    Insider Conversations. Listen in as our editors talk to innovators from around the world.

  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning magazine and daily delivery of The Download, our newsletter of what’s important in technology and innovation.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.