U.S. ethanol production began 2010 on a record pace. The latest report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) puts January 2010 ethanol production at an average of more than 818,000 barrels per day, compared to 188,000 in January 2009. EIA also reports fuel ethanol imports of 1.4 million gallons in January.
Ethanol demand, as calculated by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), also reached an all time high at 784,000 b/d in January, up from 644,000 b/d a year ago.
RFA President Bob Dinneen says the increased production and demand are good news, but continue to point out the need for increasing the blend level of ethanol in gasoline. “American ethanol producers continue to provide increasing supplies of a renewable alternative to imported oil,” said Dinneen. “Due to antiquated regulations, however, American drivers are being prevented access to increased use of ethanol and ethanol blends. The increase seen in ethanol reserves during a time of great economic advantage in ethanol pricing speaks directly to the need for EPA to allow up to 15% ethanol blends for all vehicles, regardless of model year.”