EIA revises 2014 ethanol production forecast in February report

By Erin Voegele | February 11, 2014

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has revised its forecast for 2014 ethanol production in the February issue of its Short-Term Energy Outlook. The EIA now predicts the U.S. ethanol industry will produce an average of 908,000 barrels per day this year, down 5,000 barrels per day from its January STEO forecast of 913,000 barrels per day.

According to the February STEO, ethanol production increased in late 2013, reaching an average of 925,000 barrels per day in December, up from 825,000 barrels per day during the same month of 2012.

Moving into 2015, the EIA estimates ethanol production will average approximately 910,000 barrels per day during the first quarter, increasing to 920,000 barrels per day in the second, third and fourth quarters.

The EIA also predicts that biodiesel production will average approximately 84,000 barrels per day in 2014 and 2015, down slightly from the 87,000 barrels per day average last year.

According to the EIA, motor gasoline consumption grew by 100,000 barrels per day, or 1.1 percent, last year. This is the largest increase since 2004. Stronger-than-expected growth in highway travel during the second half of the contributed to the increase. In 2014, the EIA predicts that motor gasoline consumption will remain unchanged as recent growth in highway travel slows and continued improvements in new-vehicle fuel economy boot overall fuel efficiency growth.

Retail gasoline prices are projected to fall to $3.44 per gallon 2014, down from an average of $3.51 per gallon last year. In 2015, retail gas prices are expected to fall again, reaching an average of $3.37 per gallon.

The EIA’s most recent weekly ethanol production data indicates 895,000 barrels per day of fuel ethanol was produced during the week of Jan. 31, down from 900,000 barrels per day the prior week. The EIA’s most recently ethanol export data shows that 1.964 million barrels was exported in November, up from 1.267 million barrels in October. In November, the top three export destinations for ethanol were Canada with 686,000 barrels, Philippines with 335,000 barrels, and India with 194,000 barrels. EIA data does not indicate any U.S. ethanol imports in October, November, December or January.