Download latest report

AMIS Market Monitor

last release: April 2019

Ethanol Update

Chart description

Chart description

The ethanol margin gives an indication of the profitability of ethanol production from maize in the United States. It uses current market prices for maize, Dried Distillers Grains (a valuable by-product of maize-based ethanol production) and ethanol, with an additional $0.55 per gallon of production costs. 

  • Rising maize prices and falling distillers grains prices offset the modest gains in ethanol prices at the plant. 
  • As such, ethanol production margins remain strongly negative. This has continued over a period of several months and has put significant financial pressure on the sector. 
  • This decline in ethanol production margins comes even as production continues to run well below an annualized pace of 16 billion gallons and well below year ago levels. The industry continues to adjust to the poor economic conditions. 
  • Oil prices have been steadily rising over the last two months on OPEC supply cuts, but gains have been hampered by uncertain demand. 
  • Ethanol price remains above its pure energy equivalence value when compared to gasoline.