Market News & Headlines >> Record Corn-for-Ethanol Use

U.S. ethanol producers used a record 476.3 million bushels of corn for fuel ethanol production in January, topping a revised December usage total of 474.0 million, according to the monthly Grain Crushings report released by USDA last Wednesday. 

January corn-for-ethanol usage was a healthy 7.9% above a year earlier. September-January corn-for-ethanol use totaled nearly 2.293 billion bushels, 4.4% above a year earlier. That puts usage on pace to top USDA’s most recent projection for 2016/17 annual usage of 5.350 billion bushels, which represents a 2.8% increase over 2015/16 usage. 

However, February corn-for-ethanol usage was likely up only marginally from last year, as last year was a leap year, meaning February contained an extra day. Ethanol production should also be slowing seasonally in coming weeks as ethanol producers appear to have largely rebuilt stocks ahead of the spring/summer driving season.