Ethanol Supply Drops

Ethanol Plant Output Slides to 53-Month Low

CRANBURY, N.J. (DTN) -- Ethanol inventory in the United States was drawn down 700,000 barrels (bbl) during the week ended Sept. 20, reversing the previous week's build, as domestic production tumbled 60,000 bpd to 943,000 bpd -- the lowest output rate since April 15, 2016, data released by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday, Sept. 25, shows.

Ethanol plant production fell below 1 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first time in five months, and for only sixth time in nearly two years. Ethanol output averaged 996,000 bpd during the four weeks ended Sept. 20, down 5% against the comparable year-ago period.

U.S. ethanol inventory held 22.5 million bbl as of Sept. 20, 100,000 bbl below the same week a year ago, with inventory drawdowns occurring in the East Coast PADD 1, down 200,000 bbl, and Midwest PADD 2, down 600,000 bbl. At 7.3 million bbl, ethanol supply along the East Coast is down 700,000 bbl, or 8.8%, against prior year, and Midwest stocks at 6.8 million bbl are 700,000 bbl or 9.3% below the comparable week in 2018.

Ethanol inventory in the Gulf Coast PADD 3 increased 200,000 bbl to 5.3 million bbl, up 1.1 million bbl against year ago.

Blending activity increased with a recovery along the East Coast, with regional blending demand interrupted earlier in the month by Hurricane Dorian.

EIA reports refinery and blender net inputs increased 30,000 bpd to 935,000 bpd, 34,000 bpd, or 3.8%, above a year ago, with East Coast activity up 22,000 bpd or 6.9% on the week to 340,000 bpd, 7.9% above a year ago. For the four weeks ended Sept. 20, ethanol blending activity averaged 931,000 bpd, 9,000 bpd more than during the comparable year-ago period.

(BM/AG)