NEW YORK (DTN) -- Total domestic fuel ethanol inventories declined last week to the lowest level since early December, with plant production and refiner and blender inputs sliding to 3-1/2 month lows, according to a petroleum report released by the Energy Information Administration Wednesday.
The data showed U.S. ethanol inventories fell 200,000 barrels (bbl), or 0.9%, to 20.0 million bbl during the week-ended Sept. 16, which is the lowest since Dec. 24, 2015, when supply was at 19.83 million bbl. Inventories are still 1.1 million bbl, or 5.9%, higher year over year.
Plant production fell 23,000 barrels per day (bpd), or 2.3%, to 981,000 bpd last week. Output remains 43,000 bpd or 4.6% higher year over year. For the four weeks ended Sept. 16, domestic ethanol production averaged 1.002 million bpd, 50,000 bpd, or 5.3%, above the comparable year-ago period.
Net refiner and blender inputs of ethanol, which measures demand, eased again last week, down 1,000 bpd to 920,000 bpd during the week-ended Sept. 16, the lowest blending rate since June 3 when inputs were at 904,000 bpd. Year over year, refiner and blender inputs are still up 28,000 bpd, or 3.14%. The four-week average blender input rate through Sept. 16 is up 29,000 bpd, or 3.2%, year over year at 926,000 bpd.
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