Ethanol production hits multi-month high

U.S. ethanol production surged last week as stocks held nearly steady.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says ethanol production averaged 1.076 million barrels a day, the highest weekly average since July, and up 65,000 on the week, but down 1,000 on the year.

That week-to-week jump was due to plants coming fully back on line following Thanksgiving, spurred by demand expectations and solid margins.

Iowa State University’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Development says that while operating margins for the average Iowa plant did recede slightly, those margins remained in positive territory.

The Renewable Fuels Association says that even with the jump in production stocks were 60,000 barrels above the previous week at 21.439 million, which was 1.818 million below a year ago.

Net inputs by ethanol refiners and blenders were fractionally lower and the volume of gasoline supplied to the market was higher.

Ethanol exports averaged 75,000 barrels a day, a drop of 76,000 from the week before.

The USDA’s updated corn for ethanol use estimate is out Friday, December 8th at Noon Eastern/11 Central.

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