EIA forecast: US biodiesel production, imports trending up

By Erin Voegele and Ron Kotrba | December 09, 2016

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the December edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook. Biodiesel production averaged 82,000 barrels per day in 2015, or about 1.26 billion gallons for the year, and is forecast to average 99,000 barrels per day this year, or approximately 1.52 billion gallons overall. In 2017, biodiesel production is expected to increase to an average of 104,000 barrels per day, or roughly 1.6 billion gallons for the year. Net imports of biomass-based diesel are also expected to increase, from 31,000 barrels per day in 2015 (475 MMgy), to 45,000 barrels per day in 2016 (690 MMgy) and 51,000 barrels per day in 2017 (782 MMgy).

Within the STEO, the EIA indicates its December STEO forecasts take into account the U.S. EPA’s recent rule finalizing 2017 renewable fuel standard (RFS) volume requirements. The administration said it expects the largest effect of the finalized 2017 RFS targets will be on biomass-based diesel consumption, including biodiesel and renewable diesel.

The outlook also predicts fuel ethanol production will average 990,000 barrels per day in 2016, increasing to 1 million barrels per day in 2017. Ethanol production averaged 970,000 barrels per day in 2015. In its November STEO, the EIA predicted U.S. ethanol production would average 990,000 barrels per day in both 2016 and 2017. 

According to the EIA, projected ethanol consumption is expected to average approximately 940,000 barrels per day in both 2016 and 2017, resulting in the ethanol share of the total gasoline pool averaging 10 percent in both years.



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