EIA: New ethanol production records set, 2015 forecast increased

By Erin Voegele | December 09, 2014

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the December issue of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, reporting new records for average weekly and monthly ethanol production. The EIA also increased its 2015 production forecast.

According to the EIA, ethanol production reached a new weekly record high of 982,000 barrels per day the week ending Nov. 21. The previous weekly average record of 972,000 barrels per day was set earlier this year for the week ending June 13. Ethanol production for November also set a monthly average record at 963,000 barrels per day. The previously monthly average record of 959,000 barrels per day was set in December 2011.

The EIA now predicts ethanol production will average 931,000 barrels per day this year, up slightly from the 927,000 barrel per day forecast made in November. The 2015 forecast has also increased. The EIA now predicts ethanol production will average 948,000 barrels per day next year, up from the 934,000 barrel per day forecast made in November

Biodiesel production averaged 89,000 barrels per day in 2013 and is forecast to average 80,000 barrels per day this year and 84,000 barrels per day next year.

Within the STEO, the EIA also reports that weekly regular gasoline retail prices averaged only $2.78 per gallon on Dec. 1, the lowest level since Oct. 4, 2010. Prices are expected to continue to decline for the remainder of the year, averaging $2.61 per gallon in December. The EIA expects regular gasoline retail prices, which averaged $3.51 per gallon last year, to average $3.37 per gallon this year and $2.60 per gallon next year. According to the EIA, its December STEO forecast for 2015 retail gasoline prices is 35 cents per gallon lower than the forecast made in November.

The EIA’s latest weekly ethanol production data indicates production averaged 962,000 barrels per day the week of Nov. 28, down slightly from 982,000 barrels per day the prior week. The U.S. exported more than 1.35 million barrels of ethanol in September. Imports for September reached only 7,000 barrels.