Ethanol Stocks Decline

US Ethanol Blending Demand Outpaces Output for Week Ended May 8

CRANBURY, N.J. (DTN) -- Ethanol supply in the United States was drawn down a steep 1.4 million barrels (bbl) to a 24.2-million-bbl seven-week low during the week ended May 8, the Energy Information Administration reported on Wednesday, May 13, with the draw following a ramp-up in blending activity that outpaced an increase in domestic production as gasoline demand continues a recovery.

Refiner and blender net ethanol inputs during the week profiled increased 71,000 barrels per day (bpd) or 11.9% to 666,000 bpd, although are down 287,000 bpd or 30.1% against a year ago. During the four weeks ended May 8, blending demand averaged 592,000 bpd, down 340,000 bpd or 36.5% against the comparable year-ago period.

All PAD districts saw an increase in blending activity, with East Coast PADD 1 up 28,000 bpd on the week at 233,000 bpd, Midwest PADD 2 up 21,000 bpd at 182,000 bpd, Gulf Coast PADD 3 up 13,000 bpd at 119,000 bpd, and West Coast PADD 5 up 6,000 bpd at 109,000 bpd.

Greater blending activity corresponded with a sharp increase in gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, up 734,000 bpd to 7.398 million bpd. Implied gasoline demand is still down 1.75 million bpd against a year ago, while the four-week average through May 8 at 6.308 million bpd is 33% below the comparable period a year ago.

U.S. ethanol production increased 19,000 bpd to 617,000 bpd, again moving below domestic demand. During the four weeks ended May 8, U.S. ethanol plant output averaged 579,000 bpd, down 461,000 bpd or 44.3% against the comparable four-week period in 2019.