EIA maintains 2018, 2019 ethanol production forecasts

By Erin Voegele | December 13, 2018

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the December edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, maintaining its November forecasts for 2018 and 2019 ethanol production, but making slight changes to quarterly production forecasts. 

The EIA currently predicts ethanol production will average 1.05 million barrels per day during the final quarter of this year. Full year 2018 production is also expected to average 1.05 million barrels per day. These forecasts are unchanged from last month.

For 2019, the EIA has maintained its full year prediction that ethanol production will average 1.04 million barrels per day. On a quarterly basis, the EIA currently predicts that ethanol production will average 1.04 million barrels per day during the first and second quarters of next year, fall to 1.03 million barrels per day during the third quarter, and increase to 1.04 million barrels per day during the final quarter of the year. All the 2019 quarterly predictions have been maintained when compared to the November STEO, except the forecast for the first quarter, which was increased from November’s prediction of 1.03 million barrels per day.

The EIA has also increased its 2018 ethanol consumption forecast. In the December STEO, the EIA predicts ethanol consumption will average 950,000 barrels per day, up from the 940,000 barrels per day predicted in November. The 2019 consumption forecast has been maintained at 950,000 barrels per day.

The EIA’s most recently weekly ethanol production data shows production averaged 1.046 million barrels per day the week ending Dec. 7, down from 1.069 million barrels per day the previous week.

The EIA’s most recent ethanol import data shows the U.S. imported only 36,000 barrels of ethanol in September, all from Brazil. The U.S. exported 2.141 million barrels of ethanol during the same month, primarily to Canada, Malaysia, and the Netherlands.