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U.S. Ethanol Output Increased Most in 16 Months, EIA Reports

Ethanol production in the U.S. rose 5.8 percent to 854,000 barrels a day last week, the biggest weekly gain since December 2010, as costs eased.

Stockpiles swelled 1.8 percent to 17.8 million barrels, the biggest weekly expansion since Jan. 25, a report from the Energy Information Administration showed today. Inventories were 18 percent lower than a year earlier.

Ethanol is made mostly from corn in the U.S. Prices for the grain plunged 13 percent in two days after the Agriculture Department reported higher-than-expected supplies on March 28.

Ethanol-blended gasoline made up a record 96 percent of the total U.S. gasoline pool, data from the Energy Department’s analytical arm showed.

Denatured ethanol for May delivery tumbled 5.8 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $2.441 a gallon at 11:08 a.m. New York time on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest decline since April 1. Prices have gained 11 percent this year.

The U.S. didn’t make any foreign purchases of the biofuel from 49,000 barrels the previous week and unchanged from a year earlier, EIA said.

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