EIA increases ethanol production forecast for 2019

By Erin Voegele | November 07, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the November edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, maintaining its October forecast for 2018, but increasing its ethanol production forecast for next year.

The EIA currently predicts the U.S. will produce an average of 1.05 million barrels of ethanol per day this year, unchanged from its October STEO. Production averaged 1.04 million barrels per day last year. On a quarterly basis, the EIA now predicts that ethanol production will average 1.05 million barrels per day during the third quarter of 2018, up from its October prediction of 1.04 million barrels per day for the quarter.

For 2019, the EIA now predicts ethanol production will average 1.04 million barrels per day, up from the 1.03 million barrel per day prediction included in the October STEO. On a quarterly basis, production is expected to average 1.03 million barrels per day during the first quarter of 2019, increase to 1.04 million barrels per day during the second quarter, fall to 1.03 million barrels per day during the third quarter, and return to 1.04 million barrels per day during the fourth quarter.

Ethanol consumption is currently expected to average 940,000 barrels per day in 2018, level with 2017 consumption. Next year, consumption is expected to increase to 950,000 barrels per day.

The EIA’s most recent weekly data shows ethanol production averaged 1.068 million barrels per day the week ending Nov. 2, up from 1.059 million barrels per day the previous week.

The EIA’s most recent monthly data shows the U.S. imported 304,000 barrels of ethanol in August, primarily from Brazil. During the same month, the U.S. exported 2.942 million barrels of ethanol, primarily to Canada, the Netherlands, and United Arab Emirates.