EIA revises 2016 ethanol forecast in short-term outlook

By Erin Voegele | November 17, 2015

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released the November edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting ethanol production will average more than 950,000 barrels per day this year and in 2016. Last year, production averaged 934,000 barrels per day.

According to the EIA, ethanol consumption averaged 877,000 barrels per day in 2014 and is expected to increase this year and next year, averaging slightly more than 900,000 barrels per day. As a result of that consumption level, ethanol is expected to comprise an average of 9.9 percent of the total gasoline pool. The administration indicated it does not expect significant increases in E15 or E85 consumption over the forecast period.

Biodiesel production is expected to increase from an average of 83,000 barrels per day last year to 91,000 barrels per day this year and 98,000 barrels per day in 2016. According to the EIA, net imports of biomass-based diesel are expected to increase from 15,000 barrels per day in 2014 to 26,000 barrels per day this year and 35,000 barrels per day next year.

Information published in the STEO shows the monthly average price of U.S. regular gasoline was $2.29 in October, down 8 cents per gallon compared to September and down 88 cents per gallon from October 2014. The EIA said it expects monthly gasoline prices to decline, averaging $2.06 per gallon in December. Next year, retail gas prices are currently expected to average $2.33 per gallon.

The EIA’s most recently weekly ethanol production data shows production averaged 982,000 barrels per day the week of Nov. 6, up slightly from 969,000 barrels per day the week of Oct. 30. The administration’s most recent monthly ethanol export data shows the U.S. exported nearly 1.2 million barrels of ethanol in August, up from 1.84 million barrels in July. Only 367,000 barrels of ethanol were imported into the U.S. in August, up from 41,000 in July.