EIA increases ethanol production forecast for 2016, 2017

By Erin Voegele | September 08, 2016

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released the September edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting ethanol production will average approximately 990,000 barrels per day in 2016 and 2017. This is up slightly from the August STEO forecast that ethanol production would average about 980,000 barrels per day this year and next year.  Ethanol production averaged approximately 970,000 barrels per day in 2015.

According to the EIA, ethanol consumption averaged approximately 910,000 barrels per day last year. Consumption is currently expected to increase to an average of 930,000 barrels per day in both 2016 and 2017. This level of consumption results in the ethanol share of the total gasoline pool averaging 10 percent this year and next year.

Biodiesel production averaged 82,000 barrels per day last year and is expected to increase to 99,000 barrels per day this year and 102,000 barrels per day next year. Net imports of biomass-based diesel are expected to increase from 29,000 barrels per day last year to 43,000 barrels per day this year and 47,000 barrels per day in 2017.

U.S. regular gasoline retail prices are expected to decline from an average of $2.18 per gallon in August to $1.92 per gallon in December. Gasoline prices are expected to average $2.08 per gallon for the full year this year, increasing to $2.26 per gallon in 2017.

The EIA’s most recent weekly ethanol production data indicates production averaged 998,000 barrels per day the week ending Sept. 2, down from 1.023 million barrels per day the previous week. The most recently monthly data shows ethanol imports were at 250,000 barrels in June, while exports were at 1.105 million barrels.