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EIA: US Ethanol, Renewable Diesel Capacity Expands in April

By Erin Voegele

Total capacity for ethanol, biodiesel, renewable diesel and other fuels, defined to include renewable heating oil, renewable jet fuel, renewable naphtha, renewable gasoline, and other biofuels and biointermediates, reached 21.479 billion gallons in April, up from both 21.022 billion gallons the previous month and 20.777 billion gallons in April 2021.

Ethanol capacity was at 17.34 billion gallons in April, up 17 MMgy when compared to the 17.323 billion gallons of capacity reported for March. Ethanol capacity, however, was down 56 MMgy when compared to the 17.396 billion gallons of capacity in place during the same month of last year.

Biodiesel capacity fell to 2.217 billion gallons in April, down 14 MMgy when compared to the 2.231 billion gallons of capacity reported for March. When compared to the 2.41 billion gallons of capacity in place in April 2021, biodiesel capacity was down 193 MMgy.

Capacity for renewable diesel and associated fuels expanded to 1.922 billion gallons in April, up 454 MMgy when compared to the 1.468 billion gallons of capacity in place the previous month. Renewable diesel capacity was up 951 MMgy when compared to the 971 MMgy of capacity in place in April 2021.

U.S. biofuel producers consumed an estimated 25.273 billion pounds of feedstock in April, down from 27.193 billion pounds the previous month, but up when compared to 24.243 billion pounds of feedstock consumed in April 2021.

Biofuel producers consumed 23.294 billion pounds of corn in April, down from 25.383 billion pounds the previous month, but up from 22.821 billion pounds in April 2021. Producers also consumed 164 million pounds of grain sorghum, up from 97 million pounds in March. The EIA withheld the volume of grain sorghum that went to biofuel production in April 2021 to avoid disclosure of individual company data.

According to the EIA, 839 million pounds of soybean oil was used to produce biofuels in April, down from 908 million pounds in March, but up when compared to the 700 million pounds consumed in April of last year. Approximately 211 million pounds of corn oil went to biofuel production in April, down slightly when compared to the 212 million pounds consumed in the previous month and flat when compared to the 211 million pounds consumed in April 2021. Biofuel producers also consumed 101 million pounds of canola oil in April. The volume of canola oil that went to biofuel production in March 2022 and April 2021 was withheld by the EIA to avoid disclosure of individual company data.

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