June 24, 2015 / 2:55 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. ethanol production rises to record rate, stocks decline

June 24 (Reuters) - U.S. production of corn-based ethanol climbed to a record high last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, while declining stockpiles boosted futures <0#1ZE:> for the biofuel.

Average ethanol production reached 994,000 barrels per day in the week ended June 19, up 14,000 bpd from a week earlier. The rate of production surpassed the previous record of 992,000 bpd achieved in the weeks ended June 5, 2015 and Dec. 19, 2014.

Ethanol makers boosted output as profit margins increased, with corn prices near five-year lows. Lower gasoline prices also boosted fuel demand in the early days of the summer driving season.

Supplies of ethanol fell 878,000 barrels to 19.84 million barrels, smallest since the week ended Jan. 2, EIA data showed.

Ethanol futures on the Chicago Board of Trade reversed from earlier losses after data was released, with ethanol for July delivery up 0.006 cent at $1.55 cents per gallon at 9:45 a.m. CDT (1445 GMT). (Reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; Editing by Peter Galloway)

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