US Ethanol Stocks Edge Up

Weekly Build in Stocks Coincides With 19,000 BPD Hike in Ethanol Output

CRANBURY, N.J. (DTN) -- National ethanol stocks increased a modest 100,000 barrels (bbl) to 20.2 million bbl during the week ended Nov. 19, the Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday, with stock builds along the East and West Coasts offsetting draws in the Midwest and Gulf Coast.

U.S. ethanol stocks as of Nov. 19 were 700,000 bbl or 3.3% below year ago, although regional percentage stock level comparisons against 2020 were stark. At 5.6 million bbl, PADD 1 East Coast stocks were 700,000 bbl or 11.1% below the year-ago level despite a 300,000 bbl weekly build, and PADD 3 Gulf Coast ethanol inventory sat at 3.3 million bbl after a 300,000 bbl draw, down 1.1 million bbl or 25% year-on-year. In PADD 2 Midwest, a 100,000 bbl draw left stocks at 8 million bbl as of Nov. 19, 1.3 million bbl or 19.4% above year ago. PADD 4 Rocky Mountain ethanol inventories were flat on the week and against year ago at 400,000 bbl, while a 100,000 bbl build in PADD 5 West Coast stocks put stocks at 2.8 million bbl, 200,000 bbl or 6.7% less than year prior.

The weekly build in stocks coincided with a 19,000 barrel per day (bpd) increase in ethanol output at U.S. production plants to 1.079 million bpd, with the run rate 89,000 bpd or 9% above the production rate during the same week in 2020. During the four weeks ended Nov. 19, U.S. ethanol production averaged 1.071 million bpd, 99,000 bpd or 10.2% above the run rate during the comparable period a year ago.

The increase in output was exacerbated by lower blending activity for the week, with net refiner and blender inputs of ethanol for the week down 12,000 bpd or 1.3% to 886,000 bpd, while 73,000 bpd or 9% above the corresponding blend rate in 2020.