June 18 U.S. ethanol production increased for
the sixth week in a row to a record high, government data showed
on Wednesday, as rising gasoline prices helped boost demand for
the grain-based biofuel.
Ethanol production surged 28,000 barrels per day, or about 3
percent, to an average of 972,000 bpd in the week ending June
13, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Production surpassed the previous record of 963,000 bpd reached
in the last week of 2011.
Despite the higher output, strong demand squeezed stocks of
ethanol, which fell 572,000 barrels to 17.85 million barrels, a
Makers of the biofuel are earning near-record profits as
prices for corn, the main feedstock used in ethanol
production, hovered near a four-month low. Meanwhile, gasoline
futures have maintained roughly a $1-per-gallon premium
over ethanol futures throughout June, making ethanol
attractive for fuel blenders during the early days of the summer
(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; Editing by David