According to the Renewable Fuels Association, both ethanol production and demand moved higher in May, reflecting the growth in the ethanol industry and the increased gasoline demand at the beginning of the summer driving season.
As oil refiners struggled to keep their facilities operating, ethanol production grew to an average of 406,000 barrels per day (b/d), according to information released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). This increase in production helped to mitigate the price spikes American drivers endured as a result of refinery maintenance problems, reduced gasoline inventories and higher crude prices.
Additionally, demand for ethanol also increased to an estimated 427,000 b/d per day. Both production and demand represent increases of 38 and 22 percent respectively over May 2006 figures.