Ethanol Blending Demand Slumps to Lowest Level in 24 Weeks

Source: By DTN Staff • Posted: Thursday, December 3, 2020

OAKHURST, N.J. (DTN) — Total domestic ethanol inventories climbed to a 24-week high in the final week of November as implied demand fell below 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the first time since June 12, the latest Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday, Dec. 2, show.

Blending activity, a measure of demand, dropped 21,000 bpd to 792,000 bpd in the week ended Nov. 27, the lowest level since about mid-June while 12.2% lower than the same week in 2019, data show. Blending activity during the four weeks ended Nov. 27 averaged 813,000 bpd, 112,000 bpd below the comparable year-ago period.

At 21.240 million barrels (bbl), domestic ethanol supply gained 374,000 bbl in the week of Nov. 27, marking the highest level since June 12 and a 2.9% year-over-year supply surplus.

EIA reported East Coast PADD 1 inventory gained a second straight week, up 290,000 bbl to 6.630 million bbl, while Midwest PADD 2 supply increased a third straight week, up 500,000 bbl to 7.161 million bbl. At the Gulf Coast PADD 3, stocks slid 356,000 bbl to 4.085 million bbl, and stocks along the West Coast PADD 5 stocks decreased 54,000 bbl to 2.936 million bbl.

Ethanol plant production dropped 16,000 bbl or 1.6% to 974,000 bpd in the week ended Nov. 27, 8.1% lower than the corresponding week in 2019. Four-week average output dropped 70,000 bpd against a year ago to 976,000 bpd.