EIA revises ethanol production forecast in short-term outlook

By Erin Voegele | October 08, 2014

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the October issue of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, which includes slightly reduced ethanol production forecasts for 2014 and 2015.

According to the EIA, ethanol production in June matched the record of 959,000 barrels per day set in December 2011. By September, however, production had fallen back to an average of 909,000 barrels per day.

The EIA now predicts ethanol production will average 927,000 barrels per day this year, down slightly from the 929,000 barrel per day forecast made in the September STEO. Moving into 2015, U.S. ethanol production is now expected to average 933,000 barrels per day, down from the 934,000 barrel per day estimate made in September.

Biodiesel production averaged 89,000 barrels per day last year, and is expected to average 81,000 barrels per day this year. Next year, production is expected to increase to 84,000 barrels per day.

According to the EIA, gasoline prices fell to an average of $3.41 per gallon in September, 29 cents below the June average. The EIA predicts gasoline prices will continue to fall, averaging $3.41 per gallon in December. Gasoline prices averaged $3.51 per gallon in 213. That is expected to fall to an average of $3.51 per gallon in 2013. Next year, gasoline prices are expected to average $3.38 per gallon.

EIA’s weekly ethanol plant production data indicates production has trended down since the record high experienced in June. Production averaged 901,000 barrels per day the week of Oct. 3. The week of Sept. 26, production was 881,000 barrels, down slightly from the 889,000 barrel per day average the week of Sept. 19. Production averaged 931,000 barrels per day the week of Sept. 12 and 927,000 barrels per day the week of Sept. 5. 

EIA export data indicates the U.S. exported 1.6 million barrels of ethanol in July, up slightly from the 1.43 million barrels exported in June. Only 104,000 barrels of ethanol was imported in July, with only 100,000 imported in June.