Weekly ethanol production falls by 20%, stocks set another record

By Erin Voegele | April 08, 2020

U.S. fuel ethanol production fell 20 percent the week ending April 3 to an average of 672,000 barrels per day, the lowest level since the U.S. Energy Information Administration began reporting weekly ethanol production data in mid-2010, according to data released by the agency on April 8.

The reduction is primarily the result of falling fuel demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. When compared to the same week of 2019, ethanol production was down approximately 330,000 barrels per day.

Ethanol is not the only liquid fuel being impacted by COVID-19 and falling demand. According to the EIA, finished motor gasoline supplied for the week ending April 3 fell to an average of 5.065 million barrels per day, the lowest level in at least three decades.

Weekly ethanol ending stocks for the week ending April 3 set a new record at 27.1 million barrels, up 1.4 million barrels when compared to the previous record high of 25.7 million barrels set the prior week.

The EIA currently expects low ethanol production rates to persist for several months. The agency released its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook on April 7, predicting that ethanol production will average 630,000 gallons per day during the second quarter of this year, increasing to 740,000 barrels per day in the third quarter.