EIA: Ethanol Stocks at New Record High

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Domestic ethanol inventories were little changed while output declined 2.9%, driven by production losses in the Midwest in the week ended March 22, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday, March 27.

EIA reported domestic ethanol inventories increased modestly by 36,000 barrels (bbl) to a new record high at 24.448 million bbl during the profiled week, a 7% gain from the same week in 2018. Regionally, stocks registered various results, with sharp fluctuations in East Coast PADD I and West Coast PADD V inventory levels.

East Coast PADD 1 stocks surged by the largest margin, gaining 458,000 bbl, or 5.3%, to 8.023 million bbl, or 14.3% higher from a year ago. At the Midwest PADD 2, stockpiles increased 133,000 bbl to 9.262 million bbl, a steep 10.7% higher from a year ago. Gulf Coast PADD 3 inventories moved 215,000 bbl lower to 4.649 million bbl, while still 4.5% higher from a year ago. West Coast PADD V ethanol inventories shifted sharply lower, shedding 332,000 bbl to 2.192 million bbl in the profiled week, down a steep 15.4% from prior year.

Net refiner and blender inputs, a measure for ethanol demand, gained 11,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 920,000 bpd in the week ended March 22, while posting a 2.2% increase from the year prior. For the four weeks through the prior Friday, blending demand totaled 911,000 bpd, fractionally higher from the same four-week period in 2018.

Plant production moved 29,000 bpd lower to 975,000 bpd in the week ended March 22, while posting 6.2% decline from year prior. Ethanol plant output in Midwest plunged 31,000 bpd to 904,000 bpd. Four-week averaged production was 1.002 million bpd versus 1.043 million bpd during the corresponding four-week period in 2018.