Ethanol Blending Demand at 7-Week High

OAKHURST, N.J. (DTN) -- Domestic ethanol stocks posted the first draw in three weeks as blending demand continued higher during the third week of October, reaching a seven-week high, Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday, Oct. 24, shows.

Total domestic ethanol inventories were drawn down 233,000 barrels (bbl) in the week ended Oct. 19 to 23.897 million bbl, 2.9 million bbl, or about 14%, higher than the corresponding week in 2017.

Data showed ethanol stocks at the East Coast PADD 1 dropped 296,000 bbl to 7.864 million bbl, a 14.5% year-over-year supply surplus.

At the Midwest PADD 2, stockpiles declined 131,000 bbl to 7.763 million bbl, 4% higher than inventory on-hand last year.

Gulf Coast PADD 3 stocks posted a 403,000 bbl build to 4.939 million bbl, a steep 40% above a year ago while West Coast PADD V ethanol inventories fell 221,000 bbl to 2.949 million bbl. The PADD V received 15,000 barrels per day (bpd) of ethanol imports last week.

Plant production increased 13,000 bpd to 1.024 million bpd during the week-ended Oct. 19, 1.4% lower than the corresponding week in 2017. Four-week averaged production was 1.023 million bpd versus 1.009 million bpd during the corresponding four week period in 2017.

Net refiner and blender inputs, a measure for ethanol demand, rose for a fourth straight week, up 7,000 bpd to 940,000 bpd during the week-ended Oct. 19, the highest level since the last week of August and 1.6% above a year ago. For the four weeks ended Oct. 19, blending demand averaged 926,000 bpd, 3,000 bpd below the same period in 2017.