The U.S. ethanol industry set an all-time monthly production record in November 2004, producing more than 290 million gallons, or the equivalent of 232,000 barrels per day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Production was up 20% compared to November 2003 when 194,000 barrels per day were produced. The previous all-time monthly record of 226,000 was set in September 2004 and tied in October 2004.
"Monthly ethanol production records are being broken almost as quickly as they're being established. We're seeing the industry set a new production record nearly every month," says John Caupert, National Corn Growers Association director of commercialization. "The ethanol industry is growing at an amazing rate and that translates to expanding markets for corn growers and more clean-burning fuel for consumers."
Through November, the ethanol industry had produced 73.8 million barrels, an average of 220,000 barrels per day in 2004. If ethanol producers kept pace with Novemberâ€™s production rate in December, the industry will have generated nearly 3.4 billion gallons in 2004. Production numbers from December will be released in February. Through November, the industry had already surpassed its 2003 production total of 2.81 billion gallons.
According to the Renewable Fuels Association, 81 ethanol plants nationwide have the capacity to produce more than 3.6 billion gallons annually. Sixteen plants are under construction and two major expansions are under way. When those projects are finished, the industry will have a total production capacity of 4.35 billion gallons.