CRANBURY, N.J. (DTN) -- Ethanol stocks were drawn down 700,000 barrels (bbl) to 21.802 million bbl during the week ended June 5, the Energy Information Administration reported on Wednesday, June 10. This marks the seventh consecutive weekly draw after stocks reached a record-high 27.689 million bbl on April 17, with inventory now at its lowest point in 2020.
The inventory draw coincides with an ongoing increase in blending demand, with net refiner and blender ethanol inputs having gained for the ninth straight week through June 5, up 45,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a 765,000 bpd 11-week high. U.S. blending demand had fallen to a record-low 502,000 bpd in early April, with the most recent four-week average at 719,000 bpd, down 227,000 bpd or 24% against the comparable year-ago period.
Greater blending demand followed a 352,000-bpd increase in gasoline supplied to the U.S. market to 7.9 million bpd, with the four-week average through June 5 at 7.373 million bpd, down 2.162 million bpd or 22.7% against the same period in 2019.
All PAD districts reported an increase in blending activity, with East Coast PADD 1 up 15,000 bpd to 267,000 bpd, and Midwest PADD 2 12,000 bpd higher at 210,000 bpd. Gulf Coast PADD 3 blending increased 10,000 bpd to 135,000 bpd, with Rocky Mountain PADD 4 up 2,000 bpd to 26,000 bpd, and West Coast PADD 5 gaining 6,000 bpd to 127,000 bpd.
Potentially reversing the string of weekly inventory drawdowns was another increase in production by U.S. ethanol plants, with output up 72,000 bpd or 9.4% during the week profiled, the sixth straight week with higher production after falling to a 537,000-bpd more-than-decade low in late April. During the four weeks ended June 5, ethanol production is down 320,000 bpd or 30% against the corresponding period year prior.
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