EIA ups 2018 ethanol production forecast, reduces 2019 forecast

By Erin Voegele | September 11, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the September edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, increasing its forecast for 2018 ethanol production, but lowering its estimate for 2019 production.

The EIA currently predicts ethanol production will average 1.05 million barrels per day this year, falling to 1.03 million barrels per day next year. In 2017, production averaged 1.04 million barrels per day.

Last month, in its August STEO, the EIA predicted that ethanol production would average 1.04 million barrels per day in both 2018 and 2019. 

On a quarterly basis, the EIA currently predicts ethanol production will average 1.06 million barrels per day during the third quarter of 2018, falling to 1.04 million barrels per day during the fourth quarter of the year. In 2019, ethanol production is expected to average 1.03 million barrels per day during the first quarter, increasing to 1.04 million barrels per day during the second quarter, falling to 1.03 million barrels per day in the third quarter, and again increasing to 1.04 million barrels per day during the final quarter of the year.

Consumption of fuel ethanol is currently expected to average 940,000 barrels per day in 2018, flat when compared to 2017 consumption levels. Next year, consumption is expected to increase slightly, reaching 950,000 million barrels per day.

The EIA’s most recent weekly ethanol production data shows production reached 1.087 million barrels per day the week ending Aug. 31, up from 1.07 million barrels per day the previous week. The EIA’s most recent monthly export data shows the U.S. exported 3.609 million barrels of ethanol in June, primarily to Brazil, Canada and India.