EIA increases 2020 ethanol production forecast in February STEO

By Erin Voegele | February 13, 2019

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the February edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, maintaining its previous forecast for 2019 ethanol production, but slightly increasing the production forecast for 2020.

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 January, the agency predicted ethanol production would average approximately 1.04 million barrels per day in both 2019 and 2020. Production averaged approximately 1.05 million barrels per day last year. 

On a quarterly basis, the EIA currently predicts ethanol production will average 1.03 million barrels per day during the first quarter of this year, increasing to 1.05 million barrels per day in the second quarter, and then falling to 1.04 million barrels per day during the third and fourth quarters. In 2020, the agency predicts ethanol will average 1.04 million barrels per day during the first quarter, increase to 1.06 million barrels per day during the second quarter, fall to 1.05 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 reach 950,000 barrels per day in both 2019 and 2020, up from 940,000 barrels per day in 2018.

The most recent weekly data issued by the EIA shows ethanol production reached 1.029 million barrels per day the week ending Feb. 8, up from 967,000 barrels per day the week ending Feb. 1.According to EIA data, the week ending Feb. 1 marked the first time weekly average ethanol production fell below 1 million barrels per day since April 2018 and was the lowest weekly production reported since October 2017.

The EIA’s most recent monthly data shows the U.S. imported 236,000 barrels of ethanol in November 2018, all from Brazil. During the same month, the U.S. exported 4.043 million barrels of ethanol, primarily to Brazil, Canada and India.