Home > News > Ethanol Output Improving as Fed Seeks RFS Waiver Input

New data show in the fourth quarter of 2020, the ethanol industry continued to bounce back from a challenging year. In the last three months of the year, average U.S. daily production was up 500 million gallons over the third quarter to 14.7 billion gallons, amounting to 90% of pre-COVID-19 supply/demand. But at the same time, operating margins fell, largely because of increasing corn and natural gas prices (26% and 19% higher than the third quarter, respectively). Economists say they’re optimistic that ethanol production could fundamentally rise on increasing demand through 2021 on prospects of increasing consumer automobile demand as the COVID-19 vaccine is distributed. The slightly bullish market outlook comes as federal officials seek public input on whether to move forward with Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) waivers for small refiners. See more on the ethanol market.


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