US Ethanol Inventories Hold Lower

EIA: Ethanol Blending Demand Gains Third Week, Hits 19-Week High

OAKHURST, N.J. (DTN) -- Domestic ethanol inventories held lower in the second week of March as demand maintained upside momentum, climbing to the highest level since the end of October 2020, while production fell 2.2% week-on-week, according to the Energy Information Administration's weekly report issued Wednesday, March 17.

Overall ethanol plant production ramped up 33,000 barrels per day (bpd) the week ended March 12 to a 971,000-bpd 12-week high, 6.2% lower than the corresponding week in 2020. Four-week average output at 854,000 bpd was down 19% against year ago.

Midwest PADD 2 production held higher, up 34,000 bpd to a 12-week high 928,000 bpd, while Gulf Coast PADD 3 output fell 3,000 bpd to 11,000 bpd.

Blending activity, a measure of demand, rose 18,000 bpd or 2.2% to a 19-week high 836,000 bpd last week, 8.6% below the corresponding week in 2020, data show. Blending activity during the four weeks ended March 12 averaged 798,000 bpd, 110,000 bpd below the comparable year-ago period.

Midwest PADD 2 blending demand edged up 1,000 bpd on the week, while at the Gulf Coast, demand jumped 9,000 bpd. For the four weeks ended March 12, EIA reports PADD 2 blending activity 25,000 bpd below the year prior, while PADD 3 activity was down 27,000 bpd.

Overall supply of ethanol dropped 730,000 barrels (bbl) to 21.340 million bbl, the lowest level since the end of November 2020 while 3.4% below the same week a year ago.

EIA reported East Coast PADD 1 stocks dropped to a 10-week low 7.340 million bbl, down 391,000 bbl last week while 12% lower than supply on hand this time last year. Midwest PADD 2 stocks gained for a third week, up 46,000 bbl to 7.544 million bbl, 7.4% below a year ago.

At the Gulf Coast PADD 3, stocks fell 158,000 bbl to a seven-week low 4.352 million bbl, essentially flat versus last year, while data show West Coast PADD 5 stocks continued lower, down 242,000 bbl to 1.774 million bbl, a near-seven-year low.