July 11, 2012 / 3:10 PM / 8 years ago

U.S. ethanol output drops to lowest in nearly two years

* Ethanol output falls 36,000 bpd to 821,000 bpd
    * Stocks fall 761,000 to 19.53 mln bbls

    July 11 (Reuters) - U.S. ethanol output plunged 4 percent to
its lowest level in nearly two years last week as soaring corn
prices pushed many biofuel refineries into the red.
    Ethanol production totaled 821,000 barrels per day, down
36,000 bpd, in the week ended July 6, according to the Energy
Information Administration.
    It was the lowest production since the week that ended July
23, 2010, and the fourth straight weekly decline. Stocks of the
fuel fell 761,000 barrels to 19.53 million barrels.
    At least three ethanol plants -- two in Nebraska and one in
Indiana -- are idling due to rising corn prices and negative
profit margins.
    Chicago Board of Trade corn futures this week rose to
a 13-month high amid dwindling old-crop supplies and as hot and
dry conditions reduced yield potential of the developing crops.
    In a monthly supply and demand report released early
Wednesday, the U.S. Agriculture Department cut its estimate of
the corn used in U.S. ethanol production by 100 million bushels.
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