NEW YORK (DTN) -- The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday total ethanol stockpiles rose last week for the fifth-consecutive week to a nine-month high even as blending demand surged to a six-week high. Ethanol plant production edged off a record high.
EIA's weekly petroleum status report showed domestic fuel ethanol inventories increased last week by 200,000 barrels to 22.1 million bbl. It is the highest level since the week-ended April 29, 2016, although supply is down 900,000 bbl or 3.8% against the comparable week a year ago.
The inventory building coincides with strong domestic plant production, which edged down 6,000 barrels per day to 1.055 million bpd from a record high during the week-ended Feb. 3. For the four weeks ended Feb. 3, ethanol production averaged 1.055 bpd, 87,000 bpd or 9% above the output rate during the corresponding period in 2016.
Net refiner and blender inputs of ethanol- a measure for demand- surged 38,000 bpd or 4.5% to 875,000 bpd during the week-ended Feb. 3. It is the highest blend rate since the week-ended Dec. 23. On a year-over-year basis, refiner and blender inputs are up 17,000 bpd or 2%, although the four-week average at 846,000 bpd is flat, down 2,000 bpd, against the prior year.
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