Ethanol Market and Pricing Data – August 16, 2023

Ethanol, Fuels and Co-Product Pricing

Market Outlook: U.S. ethanol prices ended last week 1.4 percent lower and extended those losses in early week trading and fell 0.9 percent through Tuesday’s close. Midwest wholesale rack ethanol prices were lower to end last week and were down 1.4 percent through Tuesday’s market close to their last quote of 62.04 cents/liter (234.84 cents/gallon).

FOB Houston ethanol prices finished last week 1 percent higher but are down 1.5 percent through Tuesday’s trading from Friday’s close. FOB Houston ethanol prices are quoted at 60.1 cents/liter (227.49 cents/gallon). FOB Santos, Brazil anhydrous ethanol prices were lower last week; they are down in early week trading, falling 5.6 percent to 54.64 cents/liter (206.85 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 5.45 cents/liter (20.64 cents/gallon).

MTBE prices rose 1.4 percent last week and rallied sharply in early week trading to gain 9.1 percent from Friday’s close through Tuesday’s trading. MTBE’s premium to FOB Houston ethanol has increased from last week’s report and stands at 28.56 cents/liter (108.12 cents/gallon).

BTX component prices were higher last week and were steady/higher through Tuesday’s market close: Benzene was unchanged while Toluene was up 2.1 percent, and Xylene was up 2.1 percent. The estimated weighted average aromatic price is currently 109.62 cents/liter (414.94 cents/gallon), up from last Friday’s close. The BTX-Houston ethanol spread widened last week, and the weighted average BTX price is 49.52 cents/liter (187.44 cents/gallon) higher than the FOB Houston ethanol price.

Gasoline and petroleum products were higher last week but reversed that trend in early week trade. RBOB futures are down 4 percent to start the week while 84 octane RBOB (Houston) and 87 octane CBOB (U.S. Gulf) gasoline prices are down 2.1 and 2.2 percent, respectively. WTI futures are 2.6 percent lower at $80.99/barrel while Brent futures are down 2 percent to $85.06/barrel, from Friday through Tuesday’s close.

Liquid tanker rates are 3 percent higher on average this week with offers for the U.S. Gulf to the East Coast of Mexico seeing the largest gains (up 30 percent or $5.27/MT). Freight from the U.S. Gulf to India saw the largest declines and is down 4 percent from last week. On average, tanker freight from the U.S. Gulf is up 5 percent this week while freight from the PNW has posted a 1 percent decline. Liquid tanker freight rates from Brazil are up 1 percent, on average, this week. Freight rates across all origins are 18 percent lower than this same week in 2022.

On a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis, offers are mostly lower this week as lower FOB offers for ethanol have offset gains in liquid tanker freight rates. Prices for ethanol C&F to Central America from the U.S. Gulf are largely unchanged this week but are down 10.1 percent from this same week in 2022. Values for PNW ethanol to Southeast Asia average $768.49/MT this week, down 5.2 percent from the prior week and down 20.9 percent year-over-year. That compares to U.S. Gulf to Southeast Asia C&F prices that average $858.85/MT and are down 1.1 percent from last week and are down 12.8 percent year-over-year. C&F prices for Brazilian ethanol to Southeast Asia are down 2.5 percent from last week