July 25, 2012 / 3:05 PM / in 5 years

U.S. ethanol output falls to fresh record low

 * Ethanol output falls 6,000 bpd to 796,000 bpd
 * Daily output lowest since records began in June 2010
 By Michael Hirtzer
 July 25 (Reuters) - U.S. ethanol production fell to a record
low last week, in the sixth straight week of declines, as
surging corn prices and tight supplies of the grain squeezed
margins at biofuel refineries, government data released on
Wednesday showed.
 Ethanol production fell 6,000 barrels to 796,000 barrels per
day in the week ending July 20, the lowest weekly total since
the U.S. Energy Information Administration began tracking the
data two years ago.
 It was the second consecutive week that production hit the
lowest total on record.
 However, the 0.7 percent decline in production was the
smallest drop in more than a month while stocks of the fuel fell
551,000 barrels to 19.01 million barrels, the data showed.
 Chicago Board of Trade corn futures hit an all-time
high of $8.28-3/4 per bushel on the final day of the reporting
period as the most expansive U.S. drought in five decades
reduced yields of the developing crop.
 At least three U.S. plants are idled until profit margins
improve.
 Scorching temperatures in much of the United States have
also led some ethanol plants to slow down production, as the
refineries run less efficiently in hot weather.

 (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; Editing by Tim
Dobbyn)
 
 

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