EIA maintains 2020 ethanol production forecast

By Erin Voegele | December 12, 2019

The U.S. Energy Information Administration lowered its forecast for 2019 ethanol production, but maintained its forecast for 2020 ethanol production in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, published Dec. 11.

The EIA currently predicts ethanol production will average 1.02 million barrels per day in 2019, increasing to 1.03 million barrels per day in 2020. Production averaged 1.05 million barrels per day in 2018.

On a quarterly basis, ethanol production is expected to average 1.01 million barrels per day during the fourth quarter of 2019. That level of production is expected to continue through the first quarter of 2020, increase to 1.03 million barrels per day in the second quarter, fall to 1.02 million barrels per day in the third quarter, and increase to 1.04 million barrels per day during the final quarter of 2020.

The EIA also maintained its ethanol consumption forecasts for 2019 and 2020 at an average of 940,000 barrels per day, flat with 2018.

The EIA’s most recent monthly data shows ethanol production averaged 1.072 million barrels per day the week ending Dec. 6, up from 1.06 million barrels per day the previous week. U.S. ending stocks of fuel ethanol increased to 21.815 million barrels the week ending Dec. 6, up from 20.369 million barrels the previous week.

The agency’s most recent monthly data shows the U.S. imported 1.203 million barrels of ethanol in September, all from Brazil. During the same month, the U.S. exported 2.54 million barrels of ethanol, primarily to Canada, Brazil and South Korea.