Ethanol Snaps Losing Streak on Expectation for Production Cuts

Ethanol snapped its longest streak of losses since December on speculation that producers will temper output for spring maintenance.

Output last week at 893,000 barrels was near the lowest level since October, an Energy Department said March 21. Production last year from the period between March 18 and April 15 tumbled 6.2 percent.

“There’s the concern that spring maintenance will bring down production a little bit more,” said Jerrod Kitt, an analyst at Linn Group in Chicago. “People actually data-mine that type of stuff. On the other side you have this gigantic, burdensome inventory that prevents the market from rallying.”

Denatured ethanol for April delivery rose 0.9 cent, or 0.4 percent, to $2.292 a gallon on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices have increased 4 percent this year.

In cash market trading, ethanol in New York increased 2.5 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $2.36 a gallon and in Chicago the additive was unchanged at $2.275, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Ethanol in the U.S. Gulf added 2.5 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $2.325 a gallon and on the West Coast the biofuel increased 2 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $2.405.

Production rose to 893,000 barrels a day last week from 892,000, the Energy Department said. Supply climbed 3 percent to a record 22.7 million barrels.

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