Ethanol Demand Increases

Ethanol Demand Edges Up Second Week; Stocks at Record High

OAKHURST, N.J. (DTN) -- U.S. ethanol stocks maintained their upward climb in the third week of April, rising to a fresh record high as blending demand continued to move up from a better-than-a-decade low, according to data from the Energy Information Administration release Wednesday, April 22.

Ethanol blending demand increased for a second straight week, up 17,000 barrels per day (bpd) or 3.4% to 523,000 bpd in the week ended April 17. While above a 12-year low reached the first week of the month, blending demand for the week profiled was 44% lower than the same time in 2019.

Data show blending demand at the East Coast PADD 1 gained 6,000 bpd or 3.4% to 182,000 bpd while demand in the Midwest PADD 2 edged up 2,000 bpd or 1.4% to 145,000 bpd. Gulf Coast PADD 3 ticked up 1,000 bpd while Rocky Mountain PADD 4 ethanol blending demand jumped 3% and PADD 5 West Coast demand surged 5,000 bpd.

Plant operators again cut run rates, down 7,000 bpd or 1.2% to a record low 563,000 bpd. Versus a year ago, production is down 46.3% or 485,000 bpd.

Data show that for the four weeks ended April 17 output averaged 661,000 bpd versus 1.016 million bpd in the same four weeks of 2019.

Meantime, stocks continued to build with domestic ethanol supply up 220,000 bpd in the week profiled to 27.689 million bbl, 22% above a year ago.

Ethanol supply in PADD 1 East Coast edged lower for the first time in five weeks, dipping 23,000 bbl to 9.680 million bbl, a better-than-29% year-over-year supply surplus. PADD 2 Midwest inventories gained for a third week, added 15,000 bbl to 8.423 million bbl, steady with stocks on hand in the corresponding week in 2019.

PADD 3 Gulf Coast ethanol increased 322,000 bbl to 5.870 million bbl in the week ended April 17, a 40.5% year-over-year supply surplus. PADD 5 West Coast ethanol supply fell for the first time in four weeks, down 88,000 bbl to 3.292 million bbl last week.