EIA forecast predicts continued growth in ethanol production

By Erin Voegele | September 11, 2014

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has published the September issue of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, slightly altering its ethanol production forecasts for this year and next year.

The EIA now predicts ethanol production will average 929,000 barrels per day in 2014, down slightly from the 930,000 barrel per day prediction made in the August STEO. Moving into 2015, production is expected to increase to an average of 934,000 barrels per day. In August, the EIA predicted an average production volume of 935,000 barrels per day next year. 

Over the past three months, ethanol production averaged 940,000 barrels per day, with the highest ever weekly recorded average of 972,000 barrels per day for the week ending June 13.

Biodiesel production averaged 87,000 barrels per day last year, and is expected to average 80,000 barrels per day this year. In 2015, production is forecast to increase to 84,000 barrels per day.

According to the EIA, retail gasoline prices fell to an average of $3.49 per gallon in August, 12 cents below the July average and 21 cents below the average in June. Retail gasoline prices are expected to continue to drop, reaching $3.18 per gallon in December. That forecast is 12 cents lower than the one made by the EIA in August. Retail gasoline prices averaged $3.51 per gallon last year, and are expected to average $3.46 per gallon this year. In 2015, the average price is expected to be $3.41 per gallon.

The EIA’s most recent weekly ethanol production statistics show production averaged 927,000 barrels per day the week of Sept. 5, up from 921,000 barrels per day the prior week. Exports reached 1.43 barrels in June, while imports measured only 100,000 barrels that month.