In the October Short-term Energy Outlook, EIA projected 2024 ethanol production at 980,000 barrels per day, just slightly higher than 2021’s level. In 2020/21, the U.S. used just over 5.0 billion bushels of corn for ethanol, and since then, ethanol producers have improved fuel alcohol yield rates from corn from 2.91 gallons per bushel to 2.97 gallons per bushel on average in 2022/23. 

In the October WASDE, USDA maintained estimated 2023/24 corn use for ethanol at 5.3 billion bushels, about 6 percent higher than utilization to be expected at EIA’s ethanol production forecast. We could see a repeat of 2022/23’s slow leak in the corn for ethanol category, which drifted from 5.275 billion bushels in October 2022 to 5.177 billion by October 2023. As USDA has recently overestimated corn use for ethanol, it has also underestimated corn demand for feed, so reduction in the ethanol category has not translated into higher ending stocks. 

The full version of this commentary appeared on our IQ platform Oct. 18, 2023. Further information, statistics, and pricing for the biofuels market are available to IQ subscribers. Learn more about becoming a subscriber.

Posted by: Information Services
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