The delay of the E-15 approval waiver and the potential failure to extend the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit have left the ethanol industry confused.

The industry continues to expand, with ADM bringing on ~500MGY in the near term, according to Lewis Hagedorn, commodity specialist with JP Morgan. However, inventories of ethanol are rising, and the industry actually exported record volumes in recent months.

Hagedorn is not optimistic that the industry can achieve the recent USDA outlook for corn usage by the ethanol industry of 4.7 billion bushels in 2010-11. Given what’s happened in the oil industry recently, including the oil spill in the Gulf, the analyst finds it surprising that there hasn’t been more aggressive support for an increase in ethanol production.

— From Ag Equipment Intelligence 2010