‘Corn for ethanol’ unchanged from February

The “corn-used-for-ethanol” number for 2011/2012 in the USDA’s March supply-and-demand report was five-billion bushels, unchanged from February. 

That’s still 21 million bushels less than the amount used last year—and if it holds, it would be the first year-to-year reduction in U.S. corn ethanol usage since the tight corn supply year of 1995-96. 

USDA economist Larry Salathe says the continued decreases in U.S. fuel consumption means less ethanol is being used.  

“As a result, the amount of corn to reach to reach the ten percent blend on gasoline blending is continuing to decline,” Salathe says. “That’s causing some reduction in the demand for ethanol. 

“Last year, part of that was absorbed through exports to Brazil, because of their tight sugar crop.” 

Meanwhile, ethanol stocks are rising.   

DTN analyst Rick Kment says ethanol stocks hit a new record last week of just over 22 million barrels.  And Kment says even though some ethanol producers are talking about cutting back on production, a wide shift in production slowdowns has not yet been seen.

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