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US DATA: Ethanol production falls, stocks increase slightly

Highlights

Production falls 27,000 b/d on week, 109,000 b/d on year

Midwest sees largest week-on-week build in inventory

Houston — US ethanol production averaged 931,000 b/d in the week that ended July 31, a week-on-week decrease of 27,000 b/d, data from the US Energy Information Administration showed Aug. 5.

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Production was also down 109,000 b/d year on year. The most recent week's production figure was sharply below market expectations.

US ethanol stocks, on the other hand, increased 74,000 barrels to 20.346 million barrels.

Inventories rose in only two of the five defined regions in the most recent week. The Midwest region saw the largest build, adding 319,000 barrels to reach 7.054 million barrels. The Midwest is home to most of the US' ethanol plants, and is a significant trading hub.

East Coast stocks rose 24,000 barrels or 0.39% to end the week at 6.130 million barrels.

Gulf Coast stocks, however, decreased 171,000 barrels to 4.281 million barrels. The Gulf Coast is the origin for most ethanol exports from the US as well as a major consumption hub.

West Coast inventories dropped 88,000 barrels to 2.520 million barrels, despite the EIA reporting 11,000 barrels of imports into the region. Ethanol imports typically flow into California, as imports of sugarcane-based ethanol from Brazil generate more value from carbon credits under the state's Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

Gasoline demand fell in the week that ended July 31. The four-week rolling average of the refiner and blender net ethanol input dipped 1,000 b/d to 839,000 b/d, while the weekly average declined 9,000 b/d to 844,000 b/d.

The four-week rolling average of gasoline demand, represented by product supplied, decreased 37,000 b/d to 8.656 million b/d. The weekly average fell 192,000 b/d to 8.617 million b/d.

The four-week rolling average of the ethanol blending rate, calculated by dividing the refiner and blender ethanol input by gasoline demand, rose to 9.69% from 9.66%.

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