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Ethanol Falters as Energy Department Reports Record U.S. Supply

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Ethanol futures faltered for a third day in Chicago after the Energy Department reported record inventories of the biofuel.

Stockpiles rose 3 percent to a record 22.7 million barrels in the week ended March 16, the department said today. Supplies have gained in 13 of the past 14 weeks.

“The U.S. continues to drown in an ocean of ethanol,” said Mike Breitenbach, an analyst and trader at Blue Ocean Brokerage LLC in New York. “This is a difficult environment for producers.”

Denatured ethanol for April delivery fell 1.4 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $2.286 a gallon on the Chicago Board of Trade, the lowest price since March 9. The decline extended the longest streak of losses since Dec. 15. Prices have risen 3.8 percent this year.

In cash market trading, ethanol was unchanged in the U.S. Gulf at $2.30 a gallon and in New York the additive dropped 2 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $2.335, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Ethanol in Chicago decreased 1.5 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $2.275 a gallon and on the West Coast the biofuel slipped 1 cent to $2.385.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mario Parker in Chicago at mparker22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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