08 April 2010 21:19 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US ethanol production in January rose by 30% from a year earlier to 818,000 bbl/day (1.06bn gal), the fourth consecutive monthly increase in the output of the biofuel, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Thursday.
US production of ethanol rose by nearly 4% compared with 788,000 bbl/day in December 2009.
The January figure, which is the latest made available by the EIA, is a record-breaking number for the industry, said the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), the main US ethanol lobbying group.
US ethanol demand in January was 784,000 bbl/day, a year-on-year increase of 22% and also a record for the sector, the RFA said.
The group renewed calls for the US to allow higher ethanol blends in gasoline, citing the production gains as evidence the US has a growing supply of alternative fuel to imported crude oil.
The US in 2009 produced around 10.7bn gal of ethanol (701,000 bbl/day), an increase of 16.5% from 9.2bn gal the previous year.
US fuel ethanol spot prices were down on Thursday, pressured by weaker energy values and losses in the corn market.
Ethanol for May delivery ended Thursday at $1.5360/gal at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), down from $1.556/gal the previous day.
Market participants have also cited ample supply of ethanol as a factor pressuring prices.
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