OAKHURST, N.J. (DTN) -- Federal data show domestic ethanol inventories continued lower for a third straight week, down to a 21-week low as blending demand reached its highest level in nearly 13 months, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Blending activity, a measure of demand, rose 12,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 890,000 bpd last week data show, the highest blending rate since the declaration of a national emergency over the pandemic on March 13, 2020. Blending activity during the four weeks ended April 9 averaged 872,000 bpd, 251,000 bpd above the comparable year-ago period.
Midwest PADD 2 blending activity recouped the prior-week decline, gaining 6,000 bpd on the week, while at the Gulf Coast, demand also increased, up 2,000 bpd. For the four weeks ended April 9, EIA reports PADD 2 blending activity 67,000 bpd above the year prior while PADD 3 activity was up 40,000 bpd.
Agency data show total ethanol supply last week declined 124,000 barrels (bbl) to 20.518 million bbl, the lowest level since the week ended Nov. 13, 2020, and 25.5% below the same week in 2020.
EIA reported East Coast PADD 1 stocks gained after two weekly draws, up 59,000 bbl to 7.207 million bbl, 26% below inventory on hand this time last year, while Midwest PADD 2 dropped a fourth week, down 60,000 bbl to a 20-week low 6.885 million bbl, 18% below a year ago.
At the Gulf Coast PADD 3, stocks dropped 382,000 bbl to 4.119 million bbl, down 26% from last year, while data show West Coast PADD 5 stocks rose 263,000 bbl to 1.986 million bbl.
Overall ethanol plant production dropped 34,000 bpd or 3.5% to 941,000 bpd. Four-week average output at 955,000 bpd was 179,000 bpd higher than the corresponding four weeks in 2020.
Midwest PADD 2 production dropped 34,000 bpd to 895,000 bpd while Gulf Coast PADD 3 output decreased 1,000 bpd to 15,000 bpd.
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