EIA Again Boosts Forecasts for Ethanol, Biodiesel, Renewable Diesel Demand

The Energy Information Administration in its November Short-Term Energy Outlook on Tuesday for the second month in a row boosted its forecasts for biodiesel, ethanol and renewable diesel demand.

The agency said it expects domestic biodiesel demand in 2023 will average 120,000 b/d, up 4,000 b/d from projections in the November STEO. EIA set its 2024 demand forecast at 95,000 b/d, also up 4,000 b/d from last month. The 2022 estimate of 108,000 b/d in the October STEO was left unchanged.

EIA also said it expects biodiesel production this year will average 109,000 b/d, up 2,000 b/d from what was projected in October, and it set 2024 production at 94,000 b/d, up 2,000 b/d from last month.

The agency estimated U.S. renewable diesel demand this year will average 195,000 b/d, up 1,000 b/d from October, and set projected demand for the drop-in fuel in 2024 at an average of 260,000 b/d, down from 262,000 b/d last month.

It also increased October’s projection that renewable diesel production this year will average 171,000 b/d to 174,000 b/d and set this month’s 2024 output forecast at 236,000 b/d, down from 238,000 b/d last month.

Renewable diesel imports this year will average 23,000 b/d, level with the October report, EIA said. Its 24,000 b/d projected average for 2024 imports was left unchanged from October.

In addition, the report boosted projected U.S. ethanol demand this year to 929,000 b/d from 925,000 b/d last month, while also setting the 2024 demand projection at 928,000 b/d, up from 918,000 b/d last month.

EIA said it believes U.S. ethanol output this year will average 1.01 million b/d, unchanged from October, and set the 2024 production estimate this month at 1 million b/d, up from 990,000 b/d last month.

The agency retained its supply and demand projection for “other biofuels” — a category that includes sustainable aviation fuel and renewable naphtha — to an average of 20,000 b/d this year. EIA expects supply and demand for each category to average 34,000 b/d next year, which is up 4,000 b/d from the October STEO.

EIA once again projected there will be no net imports of “other biofuels” in any of the forecast years.

The agency kept October’s forecast for ethanol blended with gasoline this year at an average of 930,000 b/d. It said it expects ethanol blended with gasoline in 2024 to average 930,000 b/d, up 10,000 b/d from the month prior.

The November report projected U.S. liquid fuel consumption this year will average 20.14 million b/d, down from October’s 20.15 million b/d forecast. The report also expects U.S. liquid fuel consumption will average 20.39 million b/d in 2024, up from 20.35 million b/d in the previous estimate.

Global liquid fuels consumption this year will average 101.0 million b/d on a monthly basis, down from 101.4 million b/d in the October forecast.

This month’s report put 2023 U.S. gasoline consumption at an average of 8.90 million b/d, up from 8.88 million b/d in October. Gasoline demand next year, the agency said, will average 8.86 million b/d, up from October’s projection of 8.82 million b/d.

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