March ethanol corn crush up from February, lags behind January

By Susanne Retka Schill | May 04, 2015

The corn crush for ethanol was up from the short month of February, but still down a bit from January’s corn crush, according to the Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report released May 1 by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The first quarter totals for 2015 are down slightly from the last quarter of 2014, the first three months reported by NASS in its new report.

Corn for fuel alcohol, at 439.7 million bushels, was up 11 percent from February but down 1 percent from January. (Note that February contains 28 days, while January and March each contain 31 days.) Corn consumed in March by dry mills and wet mills for fuel production was 89.5 percent and 10.5 percent respectively.

Corn for beverage alcohol totaled 2.46 million bushels, down 9 percent from February but up 18 percent from January. Corn used for purposes other than fuel production totaled 44.3 million bushels, up 18 percent from February and up 2 percent from January, for a total of 493 million bushels for all uses tracked by the Current Agricultural Industrial Reports program. Sorghum use for alcohol production was once again withheld to avoid disclosing data for individual operations.

Dry mill coproduct production of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) was 1.81 million tons during March 2015, up 10 percent from February but down 3 percent from January. Distillers wet grains (DWG, 65 percent or more moisture) was 1.26 million tons in March, up 10 percent from February but down 6 percent from January. Other coproduct totals for March included condensed distillers solubles (syrup) at 163,700 tons, corn oil at 107,000 tons, DDG at 438,700 tons and modified distillers (40 to 64 percent moisture) at 57,000 ton.

Wet mill corn gluten feed production was 331.5 thousand tons during March, up 17 percent from February and up 3 percent from January. Wet corn gluten feed 40 to 60 percent moisture was 308.4 thousand tons in March, up 12 percent from February but down 2 percent from January. Corn oil from wet mills in March totaled 42,600 tons. Carbon dioxide captured from both dry and wet mill facilities for March total 198,600 tons, compared to 173,900 tons in February and 193,000 tons in January.

NASS released its first corn crushings and coproducts report in February, giving survey results for the last three months of 2014. Production is down slightly when comparing key metrics from the two quarters:  the corn crush for fuel ethanol is down slightly at 1.32 million bushels in Q4 2014 and 1.28 million bushels in Q1 2014; DDGS production at dry mills was 5.55 million tons in Q4 2014 and 5.32 million tons in Q1 2015; DWG at dry mills was 4.10 in Q4 2014 and 3.75 in Q1 2015; corn oil from dry mills was 312,000 tons in Q4 2014 and 309,000 tons in Q1 2015.