According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), 2010 was another record breaking year for American ethanol producers. Average daily ethanol production averaged nearly 863,000 barrels per day ( b/d). That represents 36.24 million gallons of daily production and nearly 13.23 billion gallons of production for calendar year 2010. 2009 ethanol production was 10.75 billion gallons. Imports for 2010 were down from 2009 with 9.7 million gallons in ’10 and 193 million gallons in ’09.
Yet while imports were down, exports of U.S. ethanol reached an all-time high. According to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), using government data, total ethanol exports ended the year at 397 million gallons, marking a nearly four-fold increase over 2009. Of the 2010 total, 270 million gallons (68%) were classified as denatured ethanol, while the remaining 127 million gallons (32%) were undenatured or non-beverage. These exports are not eligible for the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC), also called the blender’s credit. Dried distillers grains (DDGs) were also exported in record numbers in 2010 with 9 million metric tons exported.
“In today’s volatile oil market, ethanol production is helping to reduce costs for consumers at the pump and is the only measure currently moving America away from imported oil,” said RFA President Bob Dinneen. “At nearly 10 percent of the U.S. gasoline market, American ethanol production is supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs while reducing our need to import 445 million barrels of oil to refine into gasoline. That is more oil than we import from Saudi Arabia each year. At a time of increased energy uncertainty and volatility, domestic ethanol production from a growing array of feedstocks is helping create the kind of economic and energy opportunities this country will need to regain control over our future.”
The yearly data was compiled via the final monthly ethanol production report for 2010 released by EIA. According to that data, December 2010 was a bigger than expected month for ethanol production. The industry produced nearly 918,000 b/d, down slightly from 924,000 b/d in November 2010. December daily production on an annualized basis was 14 billion gallons. Demand for ethanol, according to RFA calculations rose to 918,000 b/d, up from 900,000 b/d in November 2010. RFA calculations for 2010 ethanol demand stand at just shy of 860,000 b/d. December stocks for ethanol fell slightly to 17.94 million barrels, or 19.5 days of supply based on demand calculations.