EIA Projects Ethanol Consumption

EIA Sees Ethanol Content in US Gasoline at 10% in 2016-17

CRANBURY, N.J. (DTN) -- The Energy Information Administration expects ethanol consumption in the United States to average 930,000 barrels per day this year and in 2017, 20,000 bpd higher than in 2015, with the forecasted consumption rate resulting in a 10% ethanol share in the gasoline pool for 2016 and 2017.

The 10% rate represents the blend wall, the maximum concentration of ethanol allowed in all vehicles on U.S. roadways. Newer vehicles can use an ethanol concentration up to 15%, and flex-fuel vehicles as high as an 85% ethanol concentration.

EIA also projects in its Short-term Energy Outlook released this afternoon that ethanol production would average 990,000 bpd this year and in 2017, up 20,000 bpd from 2015.

The Beltway analysts note their forecast is based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's finalized rule under the Renewable Fuel Standard reached Nov. 30, 2015 that set RFS volumes for 2014 and 2016 and its May 18 proposed volumes for 2017 that included finalized biomass-based diesel volumes for next year.

Biodiesel production is expected to average 99,000 bpd this year, up 17,000 bpd from 2015, and to increase to 102,000 bpd in 2017. EIA also sees higher foreign supply in U.S. markets, with net imports of biomass-based diesel expected to increase to 43,000 bpd this year from 29,000 bpd in 2015 and to edge higher by 4,000 bpd to 47,000 bpd in 2017.

"EIA assumes about 10,000 b/d of domestic renewable diesel consumption will be used to help meet the biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuel RFS targets in 2016 and 2017," according to the outlook.