Apr 17, 2023
Despite seasonally lower ethanol demand, U.S ethanol production and profitability were in line with long-term averages during the first quarter of 2023, according to CoBank Knowledge Exchange’s latest quarterly report, released April 6.
CoBank said the ethanol industry had a slow start in January, but finished the quarter strongly. Production during the three-month period averaged 15.4 billion gallons on an annualized basis, down slightly from 2022’s average of 15.5 billion gallons.
Pretax margins averaged only 7 cents per gallon at the start of the quarter, but increased to long-term average levels of 28 cents per gallon by the end of the period. According to CoBank, margins benefited from lower corn prices and natural gas energy costs at the close of the quarter.
CoBank also highlighted policy developments that took place during the quarter, including the reintroduction of the Next Generation Fuels Act by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. That bill aims to create a high-octane fuel standard and require automakers to manufacture vehicles that can use high-octane fuels.
A full copy of the quarterly report is available on CoBank’s website.
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