This year when the meat and poultry industries in the United States complained that corn prices were heading too high because too much corn was being used to make ethanol, the ethanol industry countered that there were still dried distillers grains, a byproduct of ethanol production, to feed cattle and hogs.
It turns out that wasn't quite as true at the ethanol defenders made out.
In fact, 25 per cent of the dried distillers grains were exported and China was the big buyer.
Holly Jessen, managing editor of EPM, says the demand for DDGs has become so keen that it now sells at prices equal to corn; the traditional price has been 85 per cent of corn.
While exports to Canada and Mexico have declined, exports to China and 80 other countries have more than made up for those declines.
There is keen demand from buyers in Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand.