Ethanol Production Drops 3%

EIA: Ethanol Plant Production Falls to 22-Week Low in Week Ended March 20

OAKHURST, N.J. (DTN) -- Domestic ethanol production dropped for a third straight week, sliding to a 22-week low in the week ended March 20, while blending demand dropped to the lowest level in six weeks and inventories were drawn down, according to Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday, March 25.

Data show U.S. ethanol supply down 458,000 barrels (bbl) in the week profiled to 24.140 million bbl, a seven-week low and down 1.2% from the same week last year.

Ethanol supply in PADD 1 East Coast rose for the first time in five weeks, up 136,000 bbl to 8.468 million bbl, a 6.3% year-over-year supply surplus.

PADD 2 Midwest inventories were drawn down a third straight week, down 99,000 bbl to 7.952 million bbl, the lowest level since the last week of December 2019 and 14% lower than the corresponding week in 2019.

PADD 3 Gulf Coast ethanol supply dropped 327,000 bbl to 4.370 million bbl in the week ended March 20, a 4.3% year-over-year supply deficit.

PADD 5 West Coast ethanol supply declined for the first time in four weeks, down 156,000 bbl to 2.959 million bbl last week.

Plant operators cut production for a third week, down 30,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.005 million bpd, the lowest level since the week ended Oct. 25, 2019 at 1.004 million bpd but up 3.1% from the same week last year. For the four weeks ended March 20, output averaged 1.041 million bpd versus 1.002 million bpd in the same four weeks of 2019.

Refiner and blender net inputs tumbled 41,000 bpd or 4.5% to average 874,000 bpd with Midwest PADD 2 blending demand 4.9% lower at 231,000 bpd. Versus a year ago, total refiner and blender net inputs were down 5% while during the four weeks March 20, blending activity averaged 901,000 bpd, down 11,000 bpd against a year ago.