Bumper corn harvests and more Americans filling up gasoline tanks pushed U.S. ethanol production to the highest since pandemic lockdowns brought the industry to a near standstill.
U.S. output of the corn-based biofuel last week surpassed analyst expectations and swelled to the most since June 2019. Gasoline demand on a four-week rolling average hit the highest since 2007 for this time of year.
The revival of biofuel production comes a day after spot ethanol soared close to a seven-year high amid surging crude oil prices. At the same time, corn is both plentiful and relatively cheap, setting the stage for fatter producer margins and a potential boost in overseas demand for U.S. supplies.