EIA: US Ethanol Stocks Decline

Output Jumps 5% Last Week

CRANBURY, N.J. (DTN) -- The domestic supply of ethanol fell during the week ended Feb. 16, narrowing the surplus against the year prior, even as U.S. ethanol plant output jumped 5.1%, the Energy Information Administration reported Thursday.

U.S. ethanol supply declined 100,000 bbl to 22.8 million bbl during the week reviewed which follows a steep 600,000 bbl drawdown during the preceding week. The weekly stock decline contrasted with a 200,000 bbl build during the comparable week a year ago, narrowing a year-on-year surplus to 100,000 bbl. During the two weeks ended Feb. 16, the supply surplus against the prior year narrowed by 1.2 million bbl.

Regional changes in ethanol supply were mixed, with a 500,000 bbl drawdown in PADD 3 Gulf Coast stocks to 3.5 million bbl driving the decline in domestic inventory. PADD 1 East Coast stocks increased 300,000 bbl to 7.9 million bbl. The PADD 2 Midwest inventory level was up 100,000 bbl to 8.3 million bbl. Supply in PADD 4 Rocky Mountains and PADD 5 West Coast remained unchanged at 400,000 bbl and 2.7 million bbl, respectively.

During the week ended Feb. 16, domestic ethanol plant production ramped up 52,000 bpd or 5.1% to 1.068 million bpd, which is 34,000 bpd or 3.3% above the comparable year-ago period. U.S. ethanol plant production averaged 1.045 million bpd during the four weeks ended Feb. 16, near flat with the year-ago period when output averaged 1.047 million bpd.

Blending demand edged up, with refiner and blender net inputs averaging 885,000 bpd for the week reviewed, up 3,000 bpd on the week and 17,000 bpd or 2.0% more than during the same week in 2017. For the four-week period ended Feb. 16, ethanol inputs averaged 873,000 bpd, up 16,000 bpd or 1.9%.