EIA: Ethanol production up 2%, stocks up 1%

By Erin Voegele | December 23, 2020

U.S. ethanol production was up 2 percent the week ending Dec. 18, according to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Dec. 23. Weekly ending stocks of fuel ethanol increased by 1 percent.

U.S. ethanol production averaged 976,000 barrels per day the week ending Dec. 18, up 19,000 barrels per day when compared to the 957,000 barrels per day produced during the previous week. When compared to the same week of last year, production was down 107,000 barrels per day.

Production of fuel ethanol has stabilized in recent months after falling to historic lows in the spring of 2020 due to market impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ethanol production hit a low of 537,000 barrels per day the week ending April 24, but began to recover in May and June as travel restrictions associated with the pandemic began to ease and demand for transportation fuels started to recover. Production levels since July have been maintained at a level above 900,000 barrels per day, but are down roughly 10 percent when compared to the same period of last year.

Weekly ending stocks of fuel ethanol expanded to 23.169 million barrels the week ending Dec. 18, up 219,000 barrels when compared to the 22.95 million barrels of stocks reported for the previous week. Stocks of fuel ethanol trended down for several months after reaching a record high of 27.289 million barrels the week ending April 17 and remained at levels below those reported for the same period of 2019 through mid-November. Ending stocks, however, have been growing in recent weeks. When compared to the same week of last year, ethanol stocks for the week ending Dec. 18 were up 1.7 million barrels.