US weekly ethanol production up 15,000 b/d to 953,000 b/d: EIA

Houston (Platts)--2 Jul 2014 1139 am EDT/1539 GMT

US ethanol production for the week ended June 27 added 15,000 b/d to 953,000 b/d, inching up toward a record high hit two weeks ago, US Energy Information Administration data showed Wednesday.

US ethanol stocks nudged up 21,000 barrels to 18.204 million barrels as a big gain in the Midwest region was neutralized by tightening supplies on the West Coast.

Midwest stocks rose 173,000 barrels to a two-month high of 6.146 million barrels, while West Coast stocks tumbled 136,000 barrels to 1.969 million barrels, a four-week low.

East Coast ethanol stocks shed 29,000 barrels to 6.897 million barrels, just shy of a 15-month high hit three weeks ago. Gulf Coast stocks rose 20,000 barrels to 2.9 million barrels, while Rocky Mountain stocks shed 6,000 barrels to 292,000 barrels.

There were no imports reported for a sixth straight week.

The four-week rolling average of gasoline demand moved up 16,000 b/d to 8.966 million b/d, while the four-week rolling average of the refiner and blender net ethanol input added 6,000 b/d to 884,000 b/d. The weekly refiner and blender net ethanol input was lower by 8,000 b/d to 883,000 b/d.

As the proportional rise in gasoline demand was outweighed by the rise in blending demand, the four-week rolling average of the ethanol blending rate -- calculated by dividing the four-week rolling averages of the net ethanol input and gasoline demand -- rose 0.05 percentage point to a two-month high of 9.86%, 0.14 percentage point shy of the 10% "blend wall."

The blend wall occurs when the maximum amount of the US gasoline pool has been blended to a level of 10% ethanol. Refiners then will be under pressure to run higher ethanol blends, buy renewable credits known as RINs or push for Congress to alter the Renewable Fuel Standard.

--Jordan Godwin, --Edited by Jason Lindquist,

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