WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Domestic ethanol stocks shifted higher, while net refiner and blender inputs, a measure for ethanol demand, increased modestly for the second consecutive week in December, according to Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday, Dec. 19.
After posting the first draw in three weeks, total domestic ethanol inventories increased again by 983,000 barrels (bbl) to 23.9 million bbl, a steep 7.2% increase from the corresponding week a year ago. Data detailed ethanol stocks at the East Coast PADD 1 increased modestly by 94,000 bbl to 7.095 million bbl, and are 2.9% higher than the corresponding week in 2017. At the Midwest PADD 2, stockpiles gained 143,000 bbl to 7.905 million bbl, 1.3% lower than inventory on-hand last year. Gulf Coast PADD 3 stocks gained by a sizable volume of 792,000 bbl to 5.231 million bbl, a steep 20.9% above a year ago, while West Coast PADD V ethanol inventories decreased 67,000 bbl to 3.272 million bbl, 22.2% above year ago.
Plant production remained flat at 1.046 million bpd after easing fractionally by 23,000 barrels per day (bpd) the previous week and reversing down from the high rates reported in the mid-November. Four-week averaged production was 1.053 million bpd versus 1.085 million bpd during the corresponding four-week period in 2017.
Net refiner and blender inputs, a measure for ethanol demand, gained for the second time in four weeks up 14,000 bpd to 924,000 bpd during the week ending Dec. 14, 1.1% above the year ago. For the four weeks ended Dec. 14, blending demand averaged 913,000 bpd, 4,000 bpd above the same period in 2017.
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