Volume of ethanol production begins to rebound

Ethanol Gas Pump

A Renewable Fuels Association news release reports EIA data analyzed by the RFA for the week ending in May 8, ethanol production expanded by 3.2%, equal to 25.91 million gallons daily, a five-week high. However, production remains tempered due to COVID-19 disruptions, coming in 41.3% below the same week in 2019. The four-week average ethanol production rate bounced 2.1% higher to 579,000 b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 8.88 billion gallons.

Ethanol stocks tightened by 5.6% to 24.2 million barrels, the lowest volume since Mar. 20. Inventories sank across all regions except the Rocky Mountains (PADD 4), where stocks ticked slightly higher. However, total reserves remain 8.7% higher than year-ago volumes.

The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, a measure of implied demand, jumped 11.0% to 7.398 million b/d (113.41 bg annualized) yet was 19.1% lower than a year ago.

Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol followed, up 11.9% to 666,000 b/d, equivalent to 10.21 bg annualized but 30.1% below the year-earlier level. While implied gasoline demand has rebounded by 46.1% from the low experienced during the week ended April 3, refiner and blender net inputs of ethanol have been slower to recover, up 32.7%.

There were no imports of ethanol recorded for the ninth straight week. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of March 2020.)