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AMIS Market Monitor

last release: December 2018

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. 

  • Ethanol production margins remain negative, and significantly so for the second consecutive month.
  • Rising maize prices were the primary driver for falling margins.
  • Oil and gasoline prices fell precipitously through November while ethanol prices remained relatively stable, reducing the notable price advantage that ethanol held in September and into early October.
  • The pace of ethanol production rebounded in November at an annualized pace of 16.275 billion gallons.
  • On 30 November, the Environmental Protection Agency in the US, affirmed a de-facto maize ethanol mandate of 15 billion gallons and expanded the requirement for advanced biofuels by 500 million gallons in 2019.