The latest EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report released today for the week ending March 27 is the first to reflect more fully the impact on the ethanol industry from the social distancing and stay-at-home restrictions associated with COVID-19.
According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association, ethanol production plummeted 16.4%, or 165,000 barrels per day (b/d), to 840,000 b/d, the lowest level in six and a half years. The decline was the largest since the EIA began reporting ethanol production statistics in 2010. The four-week average ethanol production rate declined 5.8% to 981,000 b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 15.04 billion gallons.
Ethanol stocks rose 6.5% to a record 25.7 million barrels, eclipsing the previous high set four weeks prior. Inventories shifted higher across all regions except the Midwest (PADD 2). A majority of the stocks build took place in the Gulf Coast (PADD 3), where inventories grew by roughly one-quarter.
The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market for last week sank over 24 percent compared to the previous week and 27.1% lower than a year ago to the smallest volume since the week of Jan. 28, 1994.
In addition, the amount of ethanol blended (Refiner/blender net inputs) last week was the lowest level ever reported by EIA, at 601,000 barrels/day, dropping 31 percent from the previous week and almost 34 percent from a year ago.