Ethanol Peaks Prior to End of MTBE

U.S. ethanol supplies continued to increase in the month of April, immediately prior to oil refiners’ voluntary elimination of MTBE, announced The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).

According to Energy Information Administration data, the RFA reports, stocks of ethanol reached a new pinnacle of 9.087 million barrels (more than 380 million gallons), which is the fourth month in a row ethanol stocks grew in 2006. It represents more than a 60 percent increase from the end of 2005. “Immediately prior to refiners’ voluntarily eliminating MTBE from the market, U.S. ethanol producers had ensured that an ample supply of ethanol was available to meet this new demand,” said RFA President Bob Dinneen. April’s ethanol production exceeded 363 million gallons, and the demand for ethanol was estimated at 302,000 barrels per day. Currently, 101 ethanol biorefineries nationwide have the capacity to produce more than 4.8 billion gallons annually. There are 34 ethanol refineries and 7 expansions under construction with a combined annual capacity of more than 2.2 billion gallons. “With some 900 million gallons of new production capacity expected to come online in the next six months, our domestic ethanol industry is doing its part to produce the ethanol needed to meet this strong demand,” added Dinneen.
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