NEW YORK: U.S. corn-based ethanol production fell to unusually low levels last week, a poor start to the new corn marketing year, as high prices continue to limit overall fuel demand.
The Energy Information Administration showed that US fuel ethanol production in the week ended September 16 averaged 901,000 barrels per day, at least 7% below pre-pandemic normal for the date. , the weakest production for the week in eight years and the lightest for any week since February 2021 .
This marked a 6.4% drop in production from the previous week, which, apart from the first weeks of the pandemic and the winter storm of February 2021, is the largest weekly percentage drop since at least 2010. .
However, the average production of the last four weeks remains higher than the same periods of the two previous years.
It is not uncommon for US ethanol plants to briefly shut down for maintenance just before the corn harvest.
But last week’s decline could have been exacerbated by the serious threat that U.S. railroads, essential for transporting ethanol, would not be operating soon.
The government and unions reached an earlier deal that avoided a rail closure, supporting a rebound in ethanol production for the week. —Reuters