EIA maintains 2017, 2018 ethanol production forecasts

By Erin Voegele | October 11, 2017

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the October edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, maintaining the 2017 and 2018 ethanol production forecasts made in the September STEO.

The EIA currently predicts ethanol production will average 1.03 million barrels per day this year, increasing to 1.04 million barrels per day next year. On a quarterly basis, ethanol production is expected to average 1.03 million barrels per day during the fourth quarter of this year. In 2018, production is expected to fall to 1.02 million barrels per day during the first quarter, increasing to 1.04 million barrels per day in the second and third quarters, and increasing to 1.05 million barrels per day during the fourth quarter.

Ethanol consumption is expected to reach 940,000 barrels per day this year, increasing to 0.96 million barrels per day next year.

The STEO notes that U.S. regulator gasoline retail prices reached a two-year high of $2.69 per gallon on Sept. 1, but fell to an average of $2.57 per gallon by Oct. 2 as refinery capacity and gasoline production gradually came back online following Hurricane Harvey. The EIA currently predicts U.S. regular gasoline retail prices will average $2.49 per gallon in October, falling to an average of $2.33 per gallon in September.

The latest weekly ethanol production data published by the EIA shows production averaged 1.01 million barrels per day the week ending Sept. 29, up from 996,000 barrels per day the previous week.

The EIA’s latest monthly data shows the U.S. imported 269,000 barrels of ethanol in July, all from Brazil. The U.S. exported 2.781 million barrels of ethanol in July, primarily to Canada, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates.