The KSU AgManager.info website contains an analysis of trends in ethanol-related futures prices, U.S. ethanol production, and estimated U.S. ethanol production profitability (http://www.agmanager.info/news/Articles/Ethanol-Market_WILL-Radio_11-27-12.pdf)
Findings of interest include the following:
1) Idle U.S. Ethanol Plant Capacity: Approximately 9% of U.S. ethanol production capacity is idle as of November 6, 2012 (source: Renewable Fuels Association statistics – here)
2) U.S. Ethanol Production Losses in 2012: On average, the U.S. ethanol production industry has either broke even or lost money since January 2012 according to Iowa State University representative ethanol plant model calculations (here). Over the 11 month period since the beginning of 2012, average monthly losses have been $0.08 per gallon of ethanol produced. This compares to 6 months of losses at an average of $0.05 /gallon of ethanol produced during the 6 months of December 2008 through May 2009.