Update on U.S. Ethanol production and Ending Stocks: June 2018
By Sampath Jayasinghe
Decision Innovation Solutions
In this month’s article, we look at the U.S. fuel ethanol production and ending stocks. A previous update covering ethanol production and stocks can be found in the December 2017 Report.
U.S. ethanol production was at 1.053 million barrels per day for the week ending June 8, 2018, according to the most recent Weekly Ethanol Plant Production report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Figure 1 illustrates weekly production of fuel ethanol (thousand barrels per day in left Y-axis) and weekly ending stocks of fuel ethanol (thousand barrels in right Y-axis) from January 1, 2016 to June 8, 2018. The ending stocks of fuel ethanol were at 22.174 million barrels for the week ending June 8, 2018.
The highest production record ever in the U.S. ethanol market, 1.108 million barrels per day, was set during the week ending December 1, 2017. Since January 2018, weekly production has averaged 1.037 million barrels per day. Seasonal end-of-winter plant repairs and maintenance reduced April 2018 production. The low point in 2018 so far was recorded on the week ending April 20 at 0.985 million gallons per day.
As was seen in Figure 1, fuel ethanol ending stocks build up seasonally during the winter months and decrease during the spring and summer months due to higher demand for gasoline during warmer driving seasons. The historical highest ending stocks of 24.281 million barrels was reached during the week ending March 9, 2018. This broke the previous record of 23.705 million barrels set during the week ending March 31, 2017.
Figure 2 depicts ethanol production by week number in the last five years and the first half of 2018. The weekly production rate has been, on average, one percent higher in the January-June 2018 period, compared to the same period in 2017.
The Short-Term Energy Outlook published by EIA on June 12, 2018, predicts ethanol production will average 1.04 million barrels per day during the rest of 2018. This summer, fuel ethanol blending into gasoline is projected to be 0.956 million barrels per day, a slight increase of 0.2 percent compared to summer 2017.
Figure 3 shows the ethanol content as a percentage in the total gasoline supplied in the U.S. market. This percentage was calculated by using two data series published by EIA: Weekly U.S. Refiner and Blender Net Input of Fuel Ethanol (Thousand Barrels per Day) and Weekly U.S. Product Supplied of Finished Motor Gasoline (Thousand Barrels per Day). As seen in Figure 3, gasoline supplied to the U.S. market consisted of an average 9.59 percent ethanol for the week ending June 8, 2018. On an average weekly basis, 9.70 percent ethanol was included in the U.S. gasoline supply during the January to June 2018 period, compared to 9.92 percent during the same period in 2017.
Current weekly production rate has been, on average, one percent higher in the January-June 2018 period, compared to the same period in 2017. The historical highest ending stocks was reached during the beginning of March 2018 breaking the previous record set during the end of March 2017. On an average weekly basis, 9.70 percent ethanol was included in the U.S. gasoline supply during the January to June 2018 period, a little less than during the same period in 2017.
Jayasinghe, Sampath. 2018. “Update on Current U.S Ethanol Production and Ending Stocks: June 2018.”, Renewable Energy Report, Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, Iowa State University. June 2018.