Since October, weekly ethanol production has followed last year’s pattern, although on average at about 1 to 2 percent lower daily production rates. The similar year-over-year volume makes sense given that U.S. gasoline consumption in 2018 was nearly unchanged from the year before, and ethanol manufacturers are letting stocks draw down a bit in the face of poor production margins.

Will daily ethanol production rise in Q1 2019 as it did in Q1 2018 after a similar sharp drop at the end of the previous year? Ethanol utilization by blenders and refiners continues to closely track daily rates seen over the last two seasons, so it seems likely that average daily production during Q1 will fluctuate around 1.04 million barrels.

Average daily ethanol production

Source: EIA
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