Ethanol Market and Pricing Data – April 19, 2023

Ethanol, Fuels and Co-Product Pricing

Market Outlook: U.S. ethanol prices recovered from mid-week weakness to end last week unchanged but were lower in early week trading and fell 1.6 percent through Tuesday’s close. Midwest wholesale rack ethanol prices were higher to end last week and were up 0.7 percent through Tuesday’s market close to their last quote of 67.61 cents/liter (255.94 cents/gallon).

FOB Houston ethanol prices finished last week 0.2 percent higher and are up 0.4 percent through Tuesday’s trading from Friday’s close. FOB Houston ethanol prices are quoted at 67.07 cents/liter (253.89 cents/gallon). FOB Santos, Brazil anhydrous ethanol prices were higher last week; they are up in early week trading, rising 5.2 percent to 71.51 cents/liter (270.7 cents/gallon) through Tuesday’s trading.

The FOB Gulf-Santos, Brazil ethanol spread has widened from last week’s close through Tuesday’s trading and is currently at -4.44 cents/liter (-16.81 cents/gallon).

MTBE prices fell 0.8 percent last week and added to those losses in early week trading to fall 2.4 percent from Friday’s close through Tuesday’s trading. MTBE’s premium to FOB Houston ethanol has decreased from last week’s report and stands at 16.68 cents/liter (63.14 cents/gallon).

BTX component prices were mixed last week but were higher through Tuesday’s market close: Benzene was up 4.3 percent while Toluene was up 0.4 percent, and Xylene was up 0.9 percent. The estimated weighted average aromatic price is currently 102.07 cents/liter (386.38 cents/gallon), up from last Friday’s close. The BTX-Houston ethanol spread widened last week, and the weighted average BTX price is 35 cents/liter (132.5 cents/gallon) higher than the FOB Houston ethanol price.

Gasoline and petroleum products were mostly higher last week but have reversed that trend in early week trade. RBOB futures are down 3.1 percent to start the week while 84 octane RBOB (Houston) and 87 octane CBOB (U.S. Gulf) gasoline prices are down 2.6 and 2 percent, respectively. WTI futures are 2 percent lower at $80.91/barrel while Brent futures are down 1.8 percent to $84.77/barrel, from Friday through Tuesday’s close.

Liquid tanker freight rates are 3.3 percent lower, on average, this week with offers for Brazil to India seeing the largest gains (up 0.3 percent). Freight from the U.S. Gulf to East Coast of Mexico saw the largest declines and is down 13 percent from last week. On average, tanker freight from the U.S. Gulf is down 4.7 percent this week while freight from the PNW has posted a 1.7 percent decline. Liquid tanker freight rates from Brazil are down 1.4 percent, on average, this week. Freight rates across all origins are 1 percent lower than the same week in 2022.

On a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis, offers are mostly higher this week as stronger FOB prices outweighed declines in liquid tanker rates. Prices for ethanol C&F to Central America from the U.S. Gulf are down 0.1 percent this week and are down 7 percent from this same week in 2022. Values for PNW ethanol to Southeast Asia average $1,003.37/MT this week, up 4.9 percent from the prior week but down 20.1 percent year-over-year. That compares to U.S. Gulf – Southeast Asia C&F prices that are unchanged from last week and a 4.9 percent weekly increase for Brazilian ethanol C&F Southeast Asia.