For the week ending May 22, ethanol production continued its upward trend to 724,000 barrels per day (bpd), a four-week high but down roughly 32 percent from this time last year. Weekly production rose each week in May.

Ethanol use by blenders and refiners averaged 712,000 bpd, up for the seventh consecutive week but down 25 percent YOY. U.S. gasoline demand rose 7 percent on the week, per Reuters.

Weekly stocks fell to about 23.2 million barrels, the lowest mark since early January. Stocks-to-use dropped by 2.2 points on the week to just under 32.6 percent.

The rise in production and use coupled with lower stocks represents improving ethanol demand as states ease and lift social distancing restrictions.

Though, with numerous workers becoming more acclimated to remote work, its fair to speculate that total demand restoration may take another several months, if not longer.

Weekly U.S. ethanol blender and refiner inputs by season

Source: Trade sources, McKeany-Flavell