The ethanol lobby has been claiming that low RINs costs and small refinery waivers are creating “demand destruction,” meaning decreased U.S. ethanol production. That would be concerning for America’s farmers—if it were true. However, the data continues to cast doubt on the claim.
Here is what several independent voices are saying about the state of U.S. ethanol so far in 2018.
The Andersons, Inc.
August 8, 2018: Q2 2018 Results Earnings Call
Small-refinery exemptions and weak RIN prices “have not yet had a significant impact on domestic blending due to high gasoline prices and low corn ethanol prices.”
–Pat Bowe, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Andersons, Inc.
U.S. Energy Information Administration
August 7, 2018: “August Short-Term Energy Outlook”
The EIA raises its 2018 estimate for U.S. fuel ethanol consumption to 946,000 b/d from the 942,000 b/d the agency had forecast the previous month. EIA also raises its 2019 consumption outlook to 953,000 b/d from the 952,000 b/d contained in the prior month's report.
August 1, 2018: “U.S. fuel ethanol production capacity continues to increase”
“Fuel ethanol production capacity in the United States reached more than 16 billion gallons per year, or 1.06 million barrels per day (b/d), at the beginning of 2018, according to EIA's most recent U.S. Fuel Ethanol Plant Production Capacity report. Total listed, or nameplate capacity, of operable ethanol plants increased by 5%—more than 700 million gallons per year—between January 2017 and January 2018.”