In Nebraska, most ethanol is sold in a blended fuel—10 percent ethanol with 90 percent gasoline (called E–10) or
85 percent ethanol with 15 percent gasoline (called E85). Ethanol–blended fuel consumption in 2012 was 670,676,643 gallons,
which was an increase of 1 percent from consumption in 2011 of 662,948,096 gallons. The report on motor
gasoline consumption has additional information in relation to ethanol–blended fuel consumption.
As reflected in the graph below, annual consumption fell sharply after 1992 when a state tax exemption was removed and the
ethanol–blended fuel price had risen slightly. As more ethanol plants began operations in the mid– to late 1990s, fuel availability
increased, and consumption began rising. Consumption fell in 2001 during a period when the ethanol rack
price was rising faster than the gasoline rack price. Consumption increased significantly from 2001 to 2005 due to the
increased availability of ethanol–blended fuel and a favorable price structure. A possible factor in the reduced consumption
during 2006 was the price premium of ethanol to gasoline. During 2007, additional operating capacity came on line, ethanol
prices fell, and consumption resumed its climb. Consumption rose during 2008 while corn prices fell. In the fall of 2009,
expectations for a record corn harvest came to fruition. Corn and ethanol prices felt the impact and were pushed lower.
With the expectations and then the actual harvest record, annual consumption of ethanol–blended fuel for 2009 was
eight percent less than 2008.
Ethanol–blended fuel consumption is 15 percent lower than last year. As of July 2013, consumption
for the year totaled 341,074,854 gallons while consumption during the same time period in 2012 totaled
400,336,523 gallons. Consumption for July 2013 was 54,702,087 gallons, which was 3 percent lower than
consumption in the same month in 2012. As shown in the graph below, July's consumption was 7 percent
lower than consumption during the previous month.
In September of 2013, suppliers replaced 87 octane regular unleaded gasoline with 84 octane regular
unleaded gasoline. Regular unleaded gasoline was blended with premium gasoline or ethanol to increase
the octane from 84 to 87.
In 2012, ethanol prices were lower due to high ethanol inventories, and by the end of 2012, ethanol
demand was very strong. Gasoline demand dropped 6 percent in 2012 as more drivers filled up with
In the spring of 2010, Nebraska was experiencing high corn prices and low petroleum costs.
Monthly consumption during 2009 was equivalent to 2007 levels and yet not as high as 2008. Even as
the corn harvest was projected to be a record high and prices of corn and ethanol felt a downward push,
ethanol–blended fuel consumption did not experience growth.
Consumption was higher than previous years and continued to steadily rise during the first seven months of 2008.
Consumption during 2007 returned to levels that hadn't been seen since 2005 due to price increases in gasoline.
Consumption decreased from the beginning of 2006 to March and was offset by an increase in
gasoline consumption during the same period. This was possibly due to the
increase in the price of ethanol. April and May consumption were up, but
June and July showed steep decreases in consumption. Consumption from August to December bounded
back up over 40 million gallons.
From March to June 2005, ethanol's rack price actually fell below
gasoline's rack price which resulted in increased consumption during those months. The
increased consumption spurred an increase in price, but consumption continued to increase
through July and August. An increase in consumption or demand is also reflected in the
reported miles traveled. The graph below shows a drop in consumption
traditionally in September of each year and that level maintained through October, November,
and December. Consumption in December 2005 shows a bit sharper increase from prior years.