EIA: Ethanol Stocks Again Decline

OAKHURST, N.J. (DTN) -- Ethanol inventory in the United States was drawn down again last week, falling to the lowest stock level in more than 2 1/2 years despite a decline in ethanol demand and higher output, with ethanol production up for an eighth week, data released midmorning from the Energy Information Administration shows.

Refiner and blender net ethanol inputs dropped 11,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 929,000 bpd in the week ended Nov. 15, 0.1% more than the same week a year ago. During the four weeks ended Nov. 15, blending demand averaged 931,000 bpd, 3,000 bpd more than the corresponding period in 2018.

Ethanol stock levels fell 471,000 barrels (bbl) to 20.514 million bbl in the week profiled, leaving supply at the lowest level since the week ended Jan. 6, 2017, at 20.009 million bbl.

Data showed ethanol supply draws across the majority of major PADDs. PADD 3 Gulf Coast inventory fell 310,000 bbl to 3.848 million bbl during the profiled week, down more than 17% from a year ago, while PADD 1 East Coast stocks were drawn down 203,000 bbl to 6.454 million bbl, 12.2% lower than the same week in 2018.

PADD 5 West Coast inventory added 131,000 bbl to 3.030 million bbl yet were about 200,000 bbl lower year on year. In the producer PADD 2 region, ethanol inventory fell 114,000 bbl to a six-week low at 6.810 million bbl, about 500,000 bbl below year ago.

Ethanol output at U.S. plants increased for an eighth consecutive week, up 3,000 bpd to 1.033 million bpd during the profiled week, the highest output rate since the week ended Aug. 23. Output in the Midwest was indexed at 957,000 bpd, steady on the week. Compared with year ago, U.S. plant production is down 9,000 bpd or 0.9%. During the four weeks ended Nov. 15, plant production averaged 1.020 million bpd, 39,000 bpd below the comparable output rate a year ago.