Houston, 11 September (Argus) — Production doldrums will continue to depress the US ethanol industry into late next year, according to the latest estimates from the US Energy Department.
US ethanol production will average 830,000 b/d in the second half of 2012, rebounding from summer lows but still short of levels reported earlier this year, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Output will continue to recover to 870,000 b/d in the second half of 2013, which will remain lower than average production reported in 2011 or the first half of 2012.
Drought conditions in the US corn belt have pushed up feedstock costs for ethanol manufacturers, while uncertainty over possible waivers to federal ethanol mandates have helped to muddy the markets. Conditions led ethanol makers, including Valero and Abengoa, to idle some plants this summer.
Valero expects to restart its 7,800 b/d Albion, Nebraska, and 7,000 b/d Linden, Illinois, ethanol plants this month.
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