US weekly ethanol production dips at the end of 2021: EIA

5 Jan 2022 | Alexandra Chapman

US ethanol production fell to 1.048 million barrels in the week ending December 31, while inventories received a boost, data from the country’s Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.

According to the EIA, total ethanol production across the US ended the year with a 1% week-on-week fall of 11,000 barrels per day, down from 1.059 million barrels a week earlier.

Agricensus calculations suggest the production figure amounted to consumption of 2.7 million mt of corn over the course of the week.

The dip in production exceeded analyst expectations, which had looked for a week-on-week dip of 7,000 barrels to 1.052 million barrels.

Ethanol stock levels meanwhile made gains, rising by 683,000 barrels to 21.4 million barrels, which marked a week-on-week increase of over 3%, the EIA data showed.

Stocks also went beyond analyst predictions, which looked for a total figure of 20.856 million barrels for the week ending December 31.

The rise in stocks was driven primarily by the Midwest - home to the majority of ethanol production capacity in the US - where stocks rose by 720,000 barrels or over 8%, week-on-week.

Margins, calculated with a model from Iowa State University, showed that estimated running costs for the average Midwest-based plant fell by around 35 cents to 57 cents per gallon.

Corn prices remained more or less stable, falling by only 9 cents to $5.92, down from levels recorded a week earlier. 

Finished ethanol prices, according to the data, fell by around 40 cents to $2.45/gallon, up from $2.85/gallon a week earlier.