OAKHURST, N.J. (DTN) -- Domestic ethanol inventory recouped a portion of the prior-week decline as blending demand backed off a near-two-month high and despite lower plant production for a second straight week in March, the Energy Information Administration reported on Wednesday, March 18.
Data show U.S. ethanol supply moved off a five-week low, up 264,000 barrels (bbl) during the week ended March 13 to 24.598 million bbl, 0.8% higher than same week last year.
Ethanol supply in PADD 1 East Coast declined a fourth consecutive week, down 48,000 bbl to 8.323 million bbl, an eight-week low but a 9.1% year-over-year supply surplus.
PADD 2 Midwest inventories fell a second week, down 84,000 bbl to 8.051 million bbl, leaving stocks in the producing region 11% lower than the corresponding week in 2019.
PADD 3 Gulf Coast ethanol supply rose 229,000 bbl to 4.697 million bbl in the week ended March 13, a 4.1% year-over-year supply deficit.
PADD 5 West Coast ethanol supply continued higher for a third week, up 159,000 bbl to 3.115 million bbl last week.
Plant operators again scaled back production, down 9,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the week profiled to 1.035 million bpd, up 3.1% from the same week last year. For the four weeks ended March 13, output averaged 1.053 million bpd versus 1.015 million bpd in the same four weeks of 2019.
Refiner and blender net inputs eased 4,000 bpd to average 915,000 bpd as declines across PADDs 1, 3, 4 and 5 offset a 3,000 bpd uptick in Midwest PADD 2 blending demand to 243,000 bpd. Versus a year ago, total refiner and blender net inputs were up 0.7% while during the four weeks ended March 13, blending activity averaged 908,000 bpd, up 6,000 bpd against a year ago.
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