Ethanol production started the year strong, but demand is much weaker, according to the latest figures.
The first monthly ethanol production data for 2011 shows continuing strong production numbers. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), monthly ethanol production for January 2011 was just over 920,000 barrels per day (b/d), or 1.2 billion gallons for the month. That’s up slightly from the previous month, but is over 100,000 b/d more than the January 2010 production of more than 818,000 barrels per day. If that continues at the same pace this year, production would top 14 billion gallons. EIA also reports fuel ethanol imports of 1.4 million gallons in January.
However, ethanol demand in January, as calculated by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), showed a dramatic drop.
Stocks for ethanol rose dramatically to more than 868 million gallons, an increase of more than 114 million gallons from the month prior.
As a result of the increase in stocks, total demand for ethanol as calculated by the RFA dropped precipitously to 832,000 b/d. That is down 9% from 918,000 b/d in December 2010. Total demand includes exports, which the EIA is reporting for the first time. According to EIA data, January exports of ethanol were more than 57 million gallons. Excluding exports, domestic demand for ethanol stood at 788,000 b/d.