US Ethanol Stocks Rise

Ethanol Stocks Hit Record High as Demand Sinks to 12-Year Low

OAKHURST, N.J. (DTN) -- U.S. ethanol stocks increased to a fresh record high at 27.1 million barrels (bbl) as blending demand plunged 99,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a 12-year low at 502,000 bpd during the week-ended April 3, data released by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday, April 8, shows.

Ethanol blending demand at 502,000 bpd last week was at the lowest rate since May 2008, when the second Renewable Fuel Standard was about five months old, while down 417,000 bpd or 45.4% against a year ago. The largest fallback in blending operations was along the PADD 1 East Coast, where they declined by 41,000 bpd or 18.9% on the week to 176,000 bpd, 48.2% below year ago.

Plant operators throttled back run rates sharply during the weekly period to 672,000 bpd, the lowest output rate since April 2009, while down 168,000 bpd or 20% from the previous week. Against a year ago, ethanol plant runs are down 330,000 bpd or 32.9%.

For the four weeks ended April 3, output averaged 888,000 bpd versus 995,000 bpd in the same four weeks of 2019.

The retrenchment in production fell short in mitigating a stock build, with domestic ethanol supply up 1.374 million bbl or 5.4% in the week profiled to 27.091 million bbl, 3.9 million bbl or 3.9% above year ago.

Ethanol supply in PADD 1 East Coast rose for a third week, up 600,000 bbl or 6.7% to 9.6 million bbl, a 28% year-over-year supply surplus. PADD 2 Midwest inventories gained for the first time in five weeks, up 500,000 bbl to 8.1 million bbl, although are 9% lower than the corresponding week in 2019. PADD 3 Gulf Coast ethanol added 100,000 bbl to 5.6 million bbl in the week-ended April 3, a 24.4% year-over-year supply surplus. PADD 5 West Coast ethanol supply added 100,000 bbl to 3.3 million bbl last week.