OAKHURST, N.J. (DTN) -- Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday, May 12, show domestic ethanol inventories tumbled to their lowest level in over 52 months during the week ended May 7 even as production reached a five-month high while demand nudged higher.
Agency data show total ethanol inventories dropped 1.047 million barrels (bbl) to 19.393 million bbl in the week ended May 7, the lowest level since the final week of December 2016 when stocks totaled 18.678 million bbl.
Midwest PADD 2 ethanol inventories returned to the downside, falling for seven of the past eight weeks. Stocks were drawn down 178,000 bbl to 6.294 million bbl, the lowest stock level since Nov. 20, 2020. EIA reported East Coast PADD 1 stocks also returned to the downside, dropping 487,000 bbl to 6.518 million bbl, also the lowest level since Nov. 20, 2020. Data show Gulf Coast PADD 3 stocks slid 346,000 bbl to 4.072 million bbl, the lowest supply level since the last week of October 2020 while West Coast PADD 5 supply declined to 2.147 million bbl.
Overall ethanol plant production held higher, up 27,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 979,000 bpd, the highest output level since the first week of December 2020 while four-week average output was 954,000 bpd. EIA reported PADD 2 ethanol plant production posted a third weekly gain, up 4% or 36,000 bpd to 940,000 bpd.
Blending activity, a measure of demand, climbed 0.1% to 888,000 bpd last week, the highest level since the week ended March 13, 2020, when a national emergency was declared due to COVID-19. Blending activity during the four weeks ended May 7 averaged 886,000 bpd versus 592,000 bpd during the comparable year-ago period.
Midwest PADD 2 blending demand edged up 2,000 bpd on the week while at the Gulf Coast demand fell 2,000 bpd. For the four weeks ended May 7, EIA reports PADD 2 blending activity at 239,000 bpd while PADD 3 blending volume averaged 149,000 bpd for the week.
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