EIA lowers 2020 ethanol production forecast

By Erin Voegele | September 11, 2019

The U.S. Energy Information Administration maintained its forecast for 2019 ethanol production in its latest Short Term Energy Outlook, released Sept. 10. The forecast for 2020 ethanol production, however, was lowered slightly.

The EIA currently predicts ethanol production will average 1.03 million barrels per day this year, down from 1.05 million barrels per day last year. That forecast was maintained from the August STEO. The agency, however, now predicts 2020 ethanol production will average 1.04 million barrels per day, down from the 1.05 million barrels forecasted last month.

On a quarterly basis, ethanol production is expected to average 1.03 million barrels per day during the third and fourth quarters of this year. That level of production is expected to continue through the first quarter of 2020, before rebounding to an average of 1.05 million barrels per day for the second, third and fourth quarters of the year.

Ethanol consumption is expected to average 940,000 barrels per day this year, level with 2018, but increase to 950,000 barrels per day in 2020. That forecast was maintained from the August STEO.

The EIA’s most recent weekly ethanol production data shows U.S. ethanol production averaged 1.023 million barrels per day the week ending Sept. 6, up from 1.013 million barrels per day the prior week. Ethanol stocks fell to 22.499 million barrels for the week ending Sept. 6, down from 23.801 million barrels the previous week.

The agency’s most recent monthly data shows the U.S. imported only 313,000 barrels of ethanol in April, all from Brazil. The U.S. exported 2.375 million barrels of ethanol in May, primarily to Canada, India, and Brazil.