Corn Crush for Fuel Ethanol 2016-2018

posted by Sampath Jayasinghe on Friday, January 25, 2019

In this short report, we look at the amount of corn and sorghum crushed for fuel ethanol production. This data analysis work is based on the Grain Crushing and Co-Products Production report published by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS).

Figure 1

Figure 1 shows the monthly corn usage for fuel ethanol production. The total amount of corn crushed only for fuel ethanol during the first 9 months of 2018 is 4.175 billion bushels, compared to 4.067 billion bushels for the same time period in 2017. This indicates a nearly three percent increase from 2017.  The total amount of corn crushed only for fuel ethanol during the first 9 months of 2016 was 3.907 billion bushels. As seen in Figure 1, the positive-sloped monthly trendline from January 2016 to September 2018 indicates the total amount of corn consumed for fuel ethanol production has been increasing. 

In 2017, the total corn crush for fuel ethanol was 5.501 billion bushels, compared to 5.289 billion in 2016, an increase of 4 percent. As we look forward to the 2019 USDA publication in months to come, the total 2018 corn crush for fuel ethanol should be expected to be three to four percent higher than 2018.  

Figure 2 shows the monthly sorghum crush for fuel alcohols production. The total sorghum crushed for fuel ethanol during the first 9 months of 2018 was 25.41 million bushels. This number is comparatively very low as the sorghum crushed during May 2018 was not reported by USDA-NASS. The total amount of sorghum crushed only for fuel ethanol during the first 9 months of 2017 was 80.08 million bushels, compared to 104.40 million in 2016. As seen in the Figure 2, the sorghum usage in fuel ethanol production has been decreasing over the last three years.  

Figure 2

Conclusion 

We find that the total amount of corn crushed for fuel ethanol production in the United States has been increasing at three to four percent annually. This is corresponding to an average of two percent  higher ethanol production rates recorded over the months from 2017 to 2018 period. However, sorghum crush for fuel ethanol production has been decreasing over the recent past.   

About The Author

Sampath Jayasinghe

As Senior Research Analyst, Sampath Jayasinghe is responsible for understanding clients’ data challenges, proposing potential solutions and working with clients to implement the appropriate research instrument to aid their decision-making processes.Sampath is originally from Sri Lanka. He r ... read more