US ethanol production, stocks slip as RFS challenge mounted: EIA

11 Apr 2018 | Tim Worledge

Ethanol production in the week ending April 11 totalled 1.034 million gallons, maintaining corn consumption at around 105 million bushels (2.5 million mt), data from the EIA revealed Wednesday.

Levels declined by 4,000 barrels of production per day, but the industry remains on course to meet the 5.575 billion bushels of corn consumption that the USDA expects in the 2017/18 marketing year.

The data is the first weekly set to be released since the RFS returned to the political spotlight after the agency charged with overseeing the programme was accused of issuing compliance waivers to oil refiners that didn’t qualify for them.

Much of the decline in production came in the East Coast region, which dipped to 26,000 b/d from 30,000 b/d.

Stocks also continued to fall, with 579,000 barrels pulled from tanks over the course of the week, leaving 21.8 million barrels in inventories.

The draw extended to all regions of the US ranging from 12,000 barrels from the Rocky Mountains, through to a substantial 243,000 barrel draw from the US Gulf Coast.

The US Gulf has struggled to see supply delivered into the region as swollen rivers have made barge transit difficult.

If current production levels are maintained, US ethanol production may yet consume some 5.75 billion bushels of corn.