On September 29, 2017, the USDA updated its quarterly Grain Stocks report, which was the last report for the 2016/17 marketing year. The data indicated smaller-than-expected build-up in quarterly corn stocks. Nonetheless, as Figure 1 shows, estimated ending stocks for the 2016/17 marketing year are the second largest since 1987/1988 (4.259 billion bushels). Old crop (2016/17) corn stocks in all positions on September 1, 2017, were up 32.1 percent to a total of 2.295 billion bushels compared with September 1, 2016 (1.737 billion bushels). Thirty-four-percent (787 million bushels) of the total stocks were stored on farms up 25 percent year-over-year. The remaining 66 percent (1.508 billion bushels) represented off-farm stocks. Compared with the same period last year, off-farm stocks were up 35.9 percent (see Figure 1). Based on the June 29, 2017, grain stock report, which indicated a total of 5.229 billion bushels in corn stocks as of June 1, 2017, there has been a corn disappearance of 2.93 billion bushels between June and August 2017. Disappearance was down 1% year-over-year (2.97 billion bushels).
On July 5, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its proposed rule for 2018’s renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). This also contained the EPA proposed rule for biomass-based diesel (BBD) volume standards for calendar year 2019. The EPA is required by law to issue a final rule setting for 2018’s RVOs by November 30.
Table 1: Renewable Fuel Volume Standards Proposed for 2018; Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2019(1)
(1) All values are ethanol-equivalent on an energy content basis, except Biomass-based diesel.
(a)EPA finalized volume requirements; bEPA proposed volume requirements; n/a = not available
Growth Energy, a leading biofuel trade association, recently published news pertaining to E15 fuel station growth in the United States. It was announced there now are more than 1,000 fuel stations offering E15 in the United States.
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