URBANA, Ill. — Ethanol production in the United States ended the year on a record-setting note. And, as Todd Gleason reports, it could mean an even bigger number for the corn-based fuel in 2017.
Ethanol production for the last week of the year, ending December 30, set a new record averaging 1.043 million barrels per day. This, says University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Todd Hubbs, was a really good week in a very good month and an even better year.
Hubbs : It was. The whole month of December the U.S. industry produced a lot of ethanol, exceeding a million barrels per day twice. And I think the overall average for the month is going to be above a million barrels per day. When we look back through the first part of the marketing year ethanol exports and crush rate from corn have been tremendous. The 5.3 billion bushels WASDE forecast, if this rate continues, has a distinct possibility of being exceeded this marketing year.
The implications for corn consumption during the 2016-17 marketing year can be seen in the USDA Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report released January 3. Grain crushings for fuel alcohol is available through November. For the first three months of the marketing year, 1.34 billion bushels of corn has been processed for ethanol. This is up 3.2% from the 2015 processing numbers. If corn used for ethanol production maintains this pace, 5.37 billion bushels or corn, maybe more, will be processed in the marketing year says Hubbs.
Hubbs : When we look at how much ethanol is being produced, it is an impressive feat by the U.S. ethanol industry. They surpassed one-million gallons-per-day average weekly 24 times. They are really turning out some ethanol and in turn crushing some corn. Through the first three months of the marketing year, we crushed 1.34 billion bushels of corn for fuel alcohol. At that pace, we’ll be at something closer to 5.37 or 5 .4 billion bushels of corn.
USDA updates the number of bushels of corn it expects will be crushed for ethanol production once a month. This number is reflected in the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.
— Todd Hubbs, Agricultural Economist – University of Illinois and Todd E. Gleason, Farm Broadcaster
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