EIA increases 2018, 2019 ethanol production forecasts

By Erin Voegele | March 09, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has published the March edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, increasing its ethanol production forecasts for 2018 and 2019.

The EIA currently predicts ethanol production will average 1.04 million barrels per day this year, increasing to 1.05 million barrels per day next year. In its February STEO, the EIA predicted that 2018 and 2019 ethanol production would be maintained at the 2017 level of 1.03 barrels per day.

On a quarterly basis, ethanol production is expected to average 1.03 million barrels per day during the first quarter of this year, increasing to 1.04 million barrels per day in the second quarter and 1.05 million barrels per day in the third quarter. During the fourth quarter of this year, production is expected to fall to 1.04 million barrels per day. Next year, the EIA predicts ethanol production will average 1.04 million barrels per day during the first quarter, increasing to 1.05 million barrels per day in the second quarter and 1.06 million barrels per day during the third quarter, before returning to 1.05 barrels per day during the final three months of the year.

The EIA also predicts increased ethanol consumption in 2018 and 2019. In the March STEO, the EIA predicts 960,000 barrels per day of ethanol will be blended into the gasoline pool, up from 940,000 barrels per day in 2017. In 2019, 970,000 barrels per day of ethanol is expected to be blended into motor gasoline.

The EIA’s most recent weekly ethanol production data shows production averaged 1.057 million barrels per day the week ending March 2, up from 1.044 million barrels per day the previous week.

The EIA’s most recent monthly import data shows the U.S. imported 496,000 barrels per ethanol in November, all from Brazil. The most recent export data shows the U.S. expected 4.13 million barrels of ethanol in December, primarily to Brazil, Canada and China.