EIA Releases Energy Outlook

EIA Maintains Ethanol Output, Demand Estimates for 2016-17

OAKHURST, N.J. (DTN) -- In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook released today, the U.S. Energy Information Administration maintained its outlook for ethanol production and demand for this year.

EIA reiterated ethanol production averaged almost 970,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2015 and once again projected production for 2016 and 2017 at about 980,000 bpd.

The agency repeated that ethanol consumption in 2015 averaged about 910,000 bpd, while holding firm its forecast for 2016 and 2017 to about 930,000 bpd.

"This level of consumption results in the ethanol share of the total gasoline pool averaging 10% in both 2016 and 2017."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Nov. 30, 2015, finalized a rule setting Renewable Fuel Standard volumes for 2014 through 2016 and on May 18 released its proposed RFS volumes for 2017 along with finalized biomass-based diesel volumes for 2017.

The agency used both the final and proposed volumes to develop the current STEO forecast through 2017.

EIA continues to expect the largest effect of the proposed RFS targets will be on biomass-based diesel consumption, which includes both biodiesel and renewable diesel and helps to meet the RFS targets for use of biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel.

Biodiesel production averaged 82,000 bpd in 2015 and is forecast to average 99,000 bpd this year, 1,000 bpd lower than last month's estimate. In 2017, the estimate is 106,000 bpd, steady on the month. Net imports of biomass-based diesel are also expected to increase from 29,000 bpd in 2015 to 41,000 bpd in 2016 and 47,000 bpd in 2017, each unchanged from the prior month estimate.

EIA assumes 10,000 bpd of domestic renewable diesel consumption will be used to help meet the biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuels RFS targets in both 2016 and 2017.

The agency estimates that energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide decreased by 2.8% in 2015. Emissions are forecast to decrease by 1.6% in 2016 and then increase by 1.1% in 2017. These forecasts are sensitive to assumptions about weather and economic growth.