Weekly ethanol production has shown year-on-year growth since mid-June when output began to track 2019 volumes. At the start of October, average daily production for the previous four weeks averaged just over 1.0 million barrels per day, the highest average for September since 2018. Average weekly corn use has been around 100 million bushels.
USDA is projecting total corn use for ethanol in 2023/24 to be around 5.3 billion bushels, up 2 percent from 2022/23 utilization. A potential problem with hitting that projection is EIA’s forecast that U.S. fuel consumption may be lower in 2024 than it was in 2023: 8.7 million barrels per day projected for next year vs. 8.9 million estimated for this year. EIA cites “fewer people of working age and more people of retirement age, who tend to drive less. The revised population estimates have also resulted in a downward revision of our vehicle miles traveled (VMT) forecast, which directly affects motor gasoline consumption.”
The full version of this commentary appeared on our IQ platform Oct. 4, 2023. Further information, statistics, and pricing for the biofuels market are available to IQ subscribers.Learn more about becoming a subscriber.
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