US ethanol output dips 3.4 pct, lowest in a year

Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:26pm BST

* U.S. ethanol production slips 3.4 pct to 841,000 bpd

* U.S. weekly ethanol stocks rise 1.6 percent

By Carey Gillam

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept 28 (Reuters) - U.S. ethanol production slipped 3.4 percent last week and stocks rose more than 1 percent as fall maintenance of U.S. plants eroded output to the lowest level seen over the last year.

The Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday that U.S. ethanol production totaled 841,000 barrels per day in the seven days to Sept. 23, down 30,000 barrels per day from the previous week and the lowest point output since the week ended Sept. 24, 2010.

"Pre-harvest maintanence is going into crescendo phase," said Linn Group analyst Jerrod Kitt.

Kitt said a harvesting delay for the new U.S. corn crop also was a contributing factor.

"I would also wager the bin bottoms are getting mighty bare at some facilities," said Kitt.

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Graphic of weekly ethanol production:

link.reuters.com/jyb24s

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Weaker exports and reduced gasoline demand, which is blended with ethanol, contributed to a rise in ethanol stocks. Stocks climbed 1.6 percent to 17.4 million barrels over the last week, the EIA said in its weekly report.

Ethanol futures on the Chicago Board of Trade ZEc1 were lower on Wednesday, with the spot month down 0.046 to $2.531 per gallon. (Reporting by Carey Gillam; Editing by David Gregorio)

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