EIA maintains ethanol production, consumption forecasts

By Erin Voegele | July 13, 2016

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the July edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting ethanol production will average 980,000 barrels per day in 2016 and 2017, up from an average of nearly 970,000 barrels per day last year. The July forecast maintains the prediction made in in the June STEO.

Ethanol consumption averaged 910,000 barrels per day last year and is expected to increase to increase to approximately 930,000 barrels per day this year and next year, maintaining the forecast made in June. This level of consumption results in the ethanol share of the total gasoline pool averaging 10 percent in 2016 and 2017.

Biodiesel production averaged 82,000 barrels per day in 2015 and is expected to average 99,000 barrels per day this year and 106,000 barrels per day in 2017. Net imports of biomass-based diesel are expected to increase from 29,000 barrels per day last year to 41,000 barrels per day in 2016 and 47,000 barrels per day in 2017. EIA indicated it assumes about 10,000 barrels per day of domestic renewable diesel consumption will be used to help meet the biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuels renewable fuel standard (RFS) targets in both 2016 and 2017.

The EIA predicts U.S. regular gasoline retail prices this summer are forecast to average $2.25 per gallon, 2 cents lower than forecast in the June STEO and 39 cents per gallon last summer, as measured as April through September. U.S. regular gasoline retail prices are expected to average $2.12 in 2016 and $2.28 per gallon in 2017.

The EIA’s most recent weekly data shows ethanol production averaged 1.004 million barrels per day the week ending July 8, up from 984,000 barrels per day the prior week. The most recent monthly data shows ethanol imports reached only 3,000 barrels in April, while exports reached 2.276 million barrels.