EIA maintains ethanol production forecast for 2016, 2017

By Erin Voegele | October 14, 2016

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the October edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting U.S. fuel ethanol production will average 990,000 barrels per day this year and next year, up from 970,000 barrels per day in 2015. The new forecast maintained the projections made by the EIA in the September STEO

The EIA predicts ethanol consumption will reach an average of 940,000 barrels per day this year, with that level maintained through 2017. Ethanol consumption averaged 910,000 barrels per day last year.

According to the EIA, isolated refinery outages and a disruption to the Colonial Pipeline system contributed to a 4-cent-per-gallon increase in in September gasoline prices when compared to August, with September gas prices reaching an average of $2.22 per gallon. With a return to normal refinery and pipeline operations, the switch to less expensive winter gasoline blends, and the typical decline in gasoline consumption, gasoline prices are expected to fall to an average of $1.97 per gallon in January. Overall, gasoline prices are expected to average $2.12 per gallon this year and $2.26 per gallon next year.

The EIA’s most recent weekly data shows ethanol production averaged 962,000 barrels per day the week of Oct. 7, down from 980,000 barrels per day the prior week. The most recently monthly ethanol export data shows the U.S. exported 1.652 million barrels of ethanol in July, with only 314,000 barrels imported during the same month.