Ethanol Rail Movements Update – May ’21
According to the EIA, Mar ’21 ethanol rail movements rebounded from the nine month low level experienced throughout the previous month but remaining 17.1% below previous year levels. The YOY decline in monthly ethanol rail movements was the 11th experienced throughout the past 12 months. 2020 annual ethanol rail movements declined 9.7% on a YOY basis, reaching a five year low level, while 2021 YTD ethanol rail movements have declined by an additional 17.2% throughout the first quarter of the calendar year.
12 month rolling average ethanol rail movements have ranged from 60% – 69% of monthly ethanol production, historically. Mar ’21 ethanol rail movements accounted for 66.4% of monthly production on a 12 month rolling average basis, reaching an eight month low level.
Ethanol rail movement figures are broken out by Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD) for both originating rail movements and destinations of shipments. The U.S. is regionally divided into five PADDs, which include the East Coast, Midwest, Gulf Coast, Rocky Mountain and West Coast.
Over 99% of the total rail movements originated in PADD 2 (Midwest) during Mar ’21. Over 8.1 million barrels of ethanol rail movements were destined to PADD 1 (East Coast) during Mar ’21, leading all regional districts.
Ethanol rail movements destined to PADD 1 (East Coast) accounted for over 40% of the total shipments during Mar ’21. Combined shipments to PADD 1 (East Coast), PADD 3 (Gulf Coast) and PADD 5 (West Coast) accounted for 90% of total ethanol rail movements, with minimal amounts being shipped to PADD 2 (Midwest), Canada and PADD 4 (Rocky Mountain).
Ethanol rail movements destined to PADD 3 (Gulf Coast) finished most significantly above historical average figures throughout Mar ’21 while ethanol movements destined to PADD 5 (West Coast) finished most significantly below historical average figures.