EIA maintains 2014 production estimate in December STEO

By Erin Voegele | December 10, 2013

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the December issue of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, maintaining the prior month’s prediction that ethanol production will average 900,000 barrels per day in 2014. Overall production in 2013 is expected to average 860,000 barrels per day.

According to the EIA, ethanol and biodiesel production have recovered from last year’s drought. Ethanol production increased from an average of 825,000 barrels per day in November 2012 to 900,000 barrels per day in November 2013. That production level is expected to be maintained through 2014. In October, the EIA predicted production would only average 880,000 barrels per day next year.

On a quarterly basis, the most recent STEO predicts ethanol production will average 900,000 barrels per day in the first quarter of 2014, before increasing to 910,000 barrels per day in the second and third quarters. Production is expected to return to 900,000 barrels per day in the fourth quarter.

The STEO also predicts falling gas prices next year. According to the EIA, weekly U.S. average gasoline prices were $3.27 per gallon on Dec. 2, up 8 cents after falling by more than 40 cents per gallon from the beginning of September through mid-November. The average annual price for gas is expected to be $3.43 per gallon next year, down from $3.50 per gallon in 213 and $3.63 per gallon in 2012.

According to the EIA’s most recently weekly statistics, ethanol production for the week of Nov. 29 was down slightly, averaging 913,000 barrels per day. The prior week, production averaged 927,000 barrels per day.

The EIA’s November Monthly Energy Review showed that U.S. ethanol producers produced 1.105 billion gallons of ethanol August, up from 1.096 billion gallons in August 2012. The total for the first 8 months of the year was 8.656 billion gallons, down from 9.032 billion gallons in the same period of last year.

Net imports for August were -52,000 barrels, compared to 654,000 barrels for the same period of last year. During the first eight months of 2013, net imports were -2.425 million barrels, compared to -8.136 million barrels for the same period of last year.

Consumption for August was 1.11 billion barrels, down slightly from July’s consumption level of 1.118 billion gallons. During the first eight months of the year, the U.S. consumed 8.709 billion gallons of ethanol, up from 8.650 billion gallons in the same period of last year.