EIA: Ethanol Stocks at 9-Month High

NEW YORK (DTN) -- U.S. ethanol stockpiles rose again during the week-ended Jan. 20, climbing to the highest level in nine months, while domestic plant production eased from a record high and blending demand fell, according to a report released Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.

The EIA's Weekly Petroleum Status Report showed domestic fuel ethanol inventories increased last week by 600,000 barrels (bbl), or 2.9%, to 21.7 million bbl, the highest amount of supply since the late April 2016, with supplies having risen during the week-ended Jan. 13 by 1.1 million bbl, or 5.5%.

The latest stock increase has turned what was a supply deficit to a year-on-year surplus of 300,000 bbl versus the corresponding week a year ago.

Plant production decreased 3,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.051 million bpd for the week-ended Jan. 20, although is up 90,000 bpd, or 9.4%, versus a year earlier. For the four weeks ended last week, domestic ethanol production averaged 1.049 bpd, up 63,000 bpd or 6.5%.

Net refiner and blender inputs of ethanol, a gauge for demand, fell by 7,000 bpd to 833,000 bpd during the week-ended Jan. 20. Year-over-year, refiner and blender inputs are down 32,000 bpd, or 3.7%. For the four-week average, blending demand is up 2,000 bpd at 831,000 bpd.