U.S. ethanol production plunged to its lowest level in nearly two years last week as soaring corn prices continue to push many biofuel refineries into the red.
According to government data, ethanol output fell four percent last week to 821-thousand barrels per day, the lowest since mid-July 2010. And stocks of ethanol fell below 20 million barrels, the lowest since January.
At least three ethanol plants—two in Nebraska and one in Indiana—have temporarily suspended production in recent weeks. Purdue University energy economist Wally Tyner predicts more plants will be idled if the drought continues and corn prices continue to climb.