Ethanol Market and Pricing Data – August 2, 2023

Ethanol, Fuels and Co-Product Pricing

Market Outlook: U.S. ethanol prices ended last week 7.9 percent lower and were weaker still in early week trading and fell 4.7 percent through Tuesday’s close. Midwest wholesale rack ethanol prices were lower to end last week and were down 4.1 percent through Tuesday’s market close to their last quote of 64.87 cents/liter (245.57 cents/gallon).

FOB Houston ethanol prices finished last week 4.7 percent lower and are down 5 percent through Tuesday’s trading from Friday’s close. FOB Houston ethanol prices are quoted at 62.45 cents/liter (236.41 cents/gallon). FOB Santos, Brazil anhydrous ethanol prices were higher last week; they are up in early week trading, rising 1.6 percent to 61.54 cents/liter (232.95 cents/gallon) through Tuesday’s trading.

The FOB Gulf-Santos, Brazil ethanol spread has narrowed from last week’s close through Tuesday’s trading and is currently at 0.91 cents/liter (3.46 cents/gallon).

MTBE prices rose 5.6 percent last week and extended that rally in early week trading to gain 3.9 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 17.83 cents/liter (67.5 cents/gallon).

BTX component prices were sharply higher last week and continued that trend through Tuesday’s market close: Benzene was up 5 percent while Toluene was up 5.5 percent, and Xylene was up 5.5 percent. The estimated weighted average aromatic price is currently 105.85 cents/liter (400.69 cents/gallon), up from last Friday’s close. The BTX-Houston ethanol spread widened last week, and the weighted average BTX price is 43.4 cents/liter (164.29 cents/gallon) higher than the FOB Houston ethanol price.

Gasoline and petroleum products were higher last week but were mixed in early week trade. RBOB futures are up 0.4 percent to start the week while 84 octane RBOB (Houston) and 87 octane CBOB (U.S. Gulf) gasoline prices are down 0.8 and up 0 percent, respectively. WTI futures are 1.9 percent higher at $82.09/barrel while Brent futures are up 0.6 percent to $84.91/barrel, from Friday through Tuesday’s close.

Liquid tanker rates are 1 percent higher on average this week with offers for the U.S. Gulf to the West Coast of Central America seeing the largest gains (up 4 percent). Freight from the U.S. Gulf to the East Coast of Mexico saw the largest declines and is down 3 percent from last week. On average, tanker freight from the U.S. Gulf is up 1 percent this week and freight from the PNW has also posted a 1 percent increase. Liquid tanker freight rates from Brazil are steady, on average, compared to last week and freight rates across all origins are 31 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 down 7.3 percent this week and are down 13.6 percent from this same week in 2022. Values for PNW ethanol to Southeast Asia average $856.52/MT this week, up 1.5 percent from the prior week but down 13.7 percent year-over-year. That compares to U.S. Gulf to Southeast Asia C&F prices that average $888.44/MT and are down 7 percent from last week and are down 14.3 percent year-over-year. C&F prices for Brazilian ethanol to Southeast Asia are up 0.7 percent from last week.