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U.S. ethanol production hits record high

November 28, 2014, Chicago, Ill. - U.S. ethanol makers produced a record amount of the biofuel last week, government data showed on Wednesday, as plentiful corn supplies and high ethanol prices resulted in the best profit margins in about six months, traders said.


November 28, 2014
By Reuters

November 28, 2014, Chicago, Ill. – U.S. ethanol makers
produced a record amount of the biofuel last week, government data showed on
Wednesday, as plentiful corn supplies and high ethanol prices resulted in the
best profit margins in about six months, traders said.

 

Ethanol production rose more than 1 percent to an average of
982,000 barrels per day in the week ending Nov. 21, the U.S. Energy Information
Administration said. That is the largest weekly total since EIA started
tracking the data in 2010.

 

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Stocks of the grain-based biofuel decreased by 263,000
barrels to 17.07 million barrels, the smallest in about a month.

 

The record production came as the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency last week delayed a decision until next year on targets for
biofuel use in the nation's gasoline supply.

 

The EPA announcement likely had little impact on ethanol
production, said Jerrod Kitt, a biofuels analyst with the Linn Group, a Chicago
brokerage. "It's purely seasonal, plus margins," he said.

 

Many ethanol plants perform annual maintenance before the
autumn corn harvest, allowing them to run near-capacity when supplies of the
grain are cheapest and most plentiful. Ethanol makers are earning as much as $2
per bushel of corn on the ethanol they make – the best profits since last
summer, Kitt said.

Ethanol futures eased about 1 cent to $2.04 per
gallon in thin volume at the Chicago Board of Trade, with prices hovering near
a 2-1/2-month high reached on Tuesday.


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