Ethanol production slips, stocks tighten

U.S. ethanol production declined slightly last week, while the supply got tighter.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says production averaged 1.004 million barrels a day, 5,000 less than last week, but 72,000 more than this time last year, with producers encouraged by strong operating margins.

Ethanol stocks hit a four-week low at 21.526 million barrels, a decrease of 358,000 on the week and 337,000 on the year.

Net inputs by refiners and blenders and the volume of gasoline supplied to the market were both above a week ago.

Ethanol exports averaged 120,000 barrels a day, slipping 2,000 from the previous week.

The USDA expects 5.3 billion bushels of corn to be used for ethanol production this marketing year.

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