After falling to its lowest per-day output level in 2011, you might think that ethanol production would rebound. Well, that's not the case as U.S. ethanol production dipped again last week while as export demand depleted stocks by nearly three percent.

According to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. ethanol output totaled 860,000 barrels per day in the seven days leading up to October 7, down some 3,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

Corn is getting mighty scarce at some U.S. facilities and that's likely the reason for the dip in output, but with export demand on the rise, the U.S.' ethanol producers surely wish there were more ears of corn on the stalks.


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  • 17 Comments
      diffrunt
      • 3 Years Ago
      from april energy news--- http://theenergycollective.com/geoffrey-styles/54997/missing-food-vs-fuel-circuit-breaker.
      Roy_H
      • 3 Years Ago
      So the heavily subsidized ethanol production is selling well outside the United States. Your tax dollars at work for the benefit of foreigners. And driving up the cost of corn.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Roy_H
        That's the way Steven Rattner sees it: "To ease the pain, Congress threw in a 45-cents-a-gallon subsidy ($6 billion a year); to add another layer of protection, it imposed a tariff on imported ethanol of 54 cents a gallon. That successfully shut off cheap imports, produced more efficiently from sugar cane, principally from Brazil. Here is perhaps the most incredible part: Because of the subsidy, ethanol became cheaper than gasoline, and so we sent 397 million gallons of ethanol overseas last year. America is simultaneously importing costly foreign oil and subsidizing the export of its equivalent. That’s not all. Ethanol packs less punch than gasoline and uses considerable energy in its production process. All told, each gallon of gasoline that is displaced costs the Treasury $1.78 in subsidies and lost tax revenue." http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/25/opinion/25Rattner.html
          EVnerdGene
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Marco, most of the time you seem intelligent and logical, and then you go onto a socialist rant. Always reminds me of quotes from two of your greatest leaders: "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money" Maggie Thatcher "If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain" Winston Churchill
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          If corn weren't so subsidized, farmers would simply switch crops for something that was more profitable. I know we've been down this road before, MP, but you have to understand that farmers *do* switch crops, and that it's not a difficult transition to move from corn to soybeans or alfalfa or plenty of other crops. They're not going to be forced off their land if they don't plant corn.
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          @LTW For some farmers, switching to other crops is an option, for others less so. Farms are all different, and not every farmer can compete with other crops. Also, the cost of switching, is not inexpensive, seed costs etc. Machinery can be very specialised, and knowledge not easily transferable. Farming isn't the simple business city folk imagine it to be! I raise a specialised breed of cattle, and hops, in Australia. But, I could diversify if required. My brother in the UK is very limited as to what agricultural activities our estate will profitably accommodate. We are fortunate to have developed a value added, agri-business catering to a luxury, quality, tourist market. Ain't easy, down on the farm. (the development of EV farm (estate) equipment, is a particular passion of mine)
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          LTW, On the other hand, it provides assistance and income to rural communities whose very existence was being threatened during the 1970's and 1980's. Economic rationalism can be applied to rigorously. The farm States vote, are part of America, and have contributed their share to building the US. I am not a fan of Ethanol, and think corn is a pretty uneconomic and inefficient feedstock, but I can see the social/political value of creating and maintaining an industry that assists American farmers to stay on their land, while keeping small rural communities viable. For many years, the US taxpayer has invested trillions to foreign aid, surely the US taxpayer would prefer investing a little domestic aid to their fellow citizens, while assisting their own environment?
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "ST. PAUL — With a wet spring and delayed planting, many farmers are thinking of switching from corn to soybean because of potential yield losses in corn as planting is delayed. Farmers should consider potential net revenue along with potential yield loss before making this decision. Supply and demand drive this analysis. Much of the U.S. Corn Belt is suffering from poor planting conditions this year, so total corn production likely will decline. Markets will react by pushing corn prices up. If more farmers switch to soybeans, total soybean production may increase, pushing soybean prices down. " http://www.agweek.com/event/article/id/18506/
          Marco Polo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Gasp, horror! Not socialist! Me? never! But commonsense requires a capitalist economy to maintain a social safety net, if only to preserve mass consumers. Prosperous rural communities are like insurance, you never know when you may need them. They also provide economically conservative voters. It's economically cheaper to provide employment and receive some productive capacity, than spend more money on prisons, law enforcement, private security and military. All citizens should be given, at least the illusion of making a contribution to the community . Unproductive, disconnected citizens are troublesome and become involved in anti-social behaviour. Better still, find something genuinely productive for these folk to produce.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "...and knowledge not easily transferable." And thus the basis of our disagreement. I say it is, you say it isn't, and that's where we are.
      Roy_H
      • 3 Years Ago
      The most desirable outcome is to reduce to zero. So at least this is in the right direction.
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Roy_H
        Agreed. Corn is for food. Not for fuel and government hand outs.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bottom line, your using food which could be used to feed people to make fuel. As long as ethanol is made out of food I am dead set against it. Would rather have electric than ethanol. Would rather use algae biofuel over ethanol. Ethanol is a dead end dream.
      • 3 Years Ago
      As I look out my window to an endless field of corn ready to be harvested, I wonder, who is writing this stuff and where he is getting this corn shortage information.
        Spec
        • 4 Months Ago
        They answer is in the article "export demand on the rise"
        Letstakeawalk
        • 4 Months Ago
        Corn production is down, no doubt. The fact that you might have some in your field waiting for harvest does not contradict the fact that overall supplies are lower. Total remaining stocks are approximately two-thirds of what were on hand just five years ago, meaning the market is even tighter. http://www.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/circulars/grain.pdf
        Marco Polo
        • 4 Months Ago
        Ark!Ark! Wonderful news! Er...Where is your farm? Yours in anticipation, A bunch of Crows Coming your way soon
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