EIA maintains short-term ethanol production forecast in July STEO

By Erin Voegele | July 10, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the July edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, maintaining its June production that ethanol production will average 1.04 million barrels per day in both 2018 and 2019, up from an average of 1.03 million barrels per day last year.

On a quarterly basis, ethanol production is expected to average 1.05 million barrels per day during the third quarter of this year, falling to 1.04 million barrels per day during the fourth quarter. In 2019, ethanol production is expected to average 1.03 million barrels per day during the first three months of the year, increasing to 1.04 million barrels per day for the remainder of the year.

Fuel ethanol consumption is expected to reach 940,000 barrels per day this year, roughly equal to the 2017 consumption level. In 2019, fuel ethanol consumption is expected to increase slightly, reaching 950,000 barrels per day. According to the EIA, this level of consumption results in the ethanol share of the total gasoline pool increasing slightly from an average of 10.1 percent in 2017 to an average approaching 10.2 percent by 2019. The EIA said this increase in the ethanol share assumes that recent marginal growth in higher-level ethanol blends continues during the forecast period.

Biodiesel production is expected to average 131,000 barrels per day this year, up from 104,000 barrels per day in 2017. In 2019, biodiesel production is expected to increase to approximately 144,000 barrels per day. The EIA said largely due to recent duties imposed on foreign biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia, net imports of biomass-based diesel are expected to fall from an estimated 33,000 barrels per day in 2017 to 30,000 barrels per day in 2018, before rising to 35,000 barrels per day next year.  

The EIA’s most recent weekly production data shows ethanol production reached an average of 1.067 million barrels per day the week ending June 29, down from 1.072 million barrels per day the previous week. The EIA’s most recently monthly data shows the U.S. exported 3.866 million barrels of ethanol in April, primarily to Brazil, Canada and Oman.