EIA lowers 2021 ethanol production, blending forecasts

Source: By Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information Administration maintained its forecast for 2020 ethanol production in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, which was released on Oct. 6. The forecast for 2021 ethanol production, however, was revised down.

The EIA currently predicts U.S. ethanol production will average 900,000 barrels per day this year, a forecast that was maintained from the agency’s September STEO. The forecast for 2021 ethanol production was lowered to 990,000 barrels per day, down from a forecast of 1 million barrels per day made last month. Production averaged approximately 1.03 million barrels per day last year.

On a quarterly basis, the EIA predicts ethanol production during the final three-month period of 2020 will average 950,000 barrels per day. In 2021, ethanol production is expected to average 980,000 barrels per day during the first quarter, 1 million barrels per day during the second quarter, 990,000 barrels per day during the third quarter, and 1 million barrels per day during the fourth quarter.

The U.S. is currently expected to blend an average of 830,000 barrels per day of ethanol this year, a forecast maintained from the September STEO. Blending in 2021 is expected to average 910,000 barrels per day, down from the forecast of 920,000 barrels per day made last month. In 2019, the U.S. blended an average of 950,000 barrels per day of ethanol.

The EIA’s most recent weekly data shows ethanol production averaged 881,000 barrels per day the week ending Sept. 25, down from 906,000 barrels per day the previous week. Ethanol ending stocks were at 19.691 million barrels the week ending Sept. 25, down from 19.997 million barrels the previous week.

The agency’s most recent monthly data shows the U.S. imported 264,000 barrels of ethanol in July, all from Brazil. The U.S. exported 1.772 million barrels of ethanol during the same month, primarily to Canada, India and the Netherlands.

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