EIA increases ethanol production forecasts in July report

By Erin Voegele | July 09, 2014

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has published the July issue of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, increasing its 2014 and 2015 ethanol production forecasts for the second month in a row.

The EIA now predicts ethanol production will average 932,000 barrels per day this year, up from the June STEO forecast of 920,000 barrels per day. In December, the EIA predicted ethanol production would average only 900,000 barrels per day in 2014.  

According to the EIA, ethanol production increased from an average 907,000 barrels per day in March to an estimated 949,000 barrels per day in June. The highest weekly level of ethanol production ever recorded was set last month, at 972,000 barrels per day for the weekend ending June 13.

In the July STEO, the EIA predicts ethanol production will average 940,000 barrels per day in 2015, up from its 935,000 barrel per day forecast made in June.

Biodiesel production is expected to average 80,000 barrels per day this year, down from 89,000 barrels per day last year. Next year, biodiesel production is forecasted to average 84,000 barrels per day.

The EIA predicts that gasoline will average $3.66 per gallon during the April-through-September driving season, up 8 cents from last year. Regular gasoline prices are expected to fall from $3.68 per gallon in the second quarter to $3.64 per gallon in the third quarter. Regular gasoline prices are expected to average $3.54 per gallon this year, and $3.45 per gallon in 2015, compared to $3.51 per gallon in 2013.

The EIA’s most recent weekly ethanol production data indicates production averaged 927,000 barrels per day the week of July 4, down slightly from 953,000 barrels per day the prior week. EIA data also shows the U.S. exported 1.585 million barrels of fuel ethanol in April. The administration’s most recent weekly import data does not show any ethanol imports made during the second half of June.