Ethanol production averaged just over 1.0 million barrels per day during the week ending Mar. 15, holding steady from the week before but down 4 percent year over year. Use by blenders and refiners dipped to 909,000 barrels per day, down 1 percent from the previous week as well as from a year ago, but it is still following its seasonal upswing. Ending stocks rose to 24.4 million barrels, up 3 percent from the week before and from the same week last year.
Over the past three years, ethanol production has declined sharply in April, leading to companion decline in stocks. Last year, the dip lasted just one week before manufacturers then embarked on several months of record production. This year, supply feels heavy, and the April slowdown may last two to three weeks before production picks up to supply fuel for the summer driving season.