Ethanol Market and Pricing Data – August 23, 2023

Ethanol, Fuels and Co-Product Pricing

Market Outlook: U.S. ethanol prices ended last week 1.9 percent lower and extended those losses in early week trading and fell 0.5 percent through Tuesday’s close. Midwest wholesale rack ethanol prices were lower to end last week but were up 1.1 percent through Tuesday’s market close to their last quote of 61.08 cents/liter (231.22 cents/gallon).

FOB Houston ethanol prices finished last week 4.3 percent lower but are up 0.8 percent through Tuesday’s trading from Friday’s close. FOB Houston ethanol prices are quoted at 58.86 cents/liter (222.83 cents/gallon). FOB Santos, Brazil anhydrous ethanol prices were lower last week; they are down in early week trading, falling 0.4 percent to 55.84 cents/liter (211.365 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 3.03 cents/liter (11.46 cents/gallon).

MTBE prices rose 13.9 percent last week and continued that rally in early week trading to gain 7.9 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 41.03 cents/liter (155.3 cents/gallon).

BTX component prices were higher last week and were firmer yet through Tuesday’s market close: Benzene was up 0.9 percent while Toluene was up 1 percent, and Xylene was up 1 percent. The estimated weighted average aromatic price is currently 111.84 cents/liter (423.34 cents/gallon), up from last Friday’s close. The BTX-Houston ethanol spread widened last week, and the weighted average BTX price is 52.97 cents/liter (200.52 cents/gallon) higher than the FOB Houston ethanol price.

Gasoline and petroleum products were lower last week and continued that weakness in early week trade. RBOB futures are down 1.8 percent to start the week while 84 octane RBOB (Houston) and 87 octane CBOB (U.S. Gulf) gasoline prices are down 5.4 and 1.5 percent, respectively. WTI futures are 1.2 percent lower at $79.66/barrel while Brent futures are down 0.9 percent to $84.03/barrel, from Friday through Tuesday’s close.

Liquid tanker rates are 2 percent lower on average this week with offers for the U.S. Gulf to Saudi Arabia seeing the largest gains (up 3 percent). Freight from the U.S. Gulf to the West Coast of Central America saw the largest declines and is down 4 percent from last week. On average, tanker freight from the U.S. Gulf is down 1 percent this week while freight from the PNW has posted a 3 percent decline. Liquid tanker freight rates from Brazil are down 1 percent, on average, this week. Freight rates across all origins are 7 percent lower than this same week in 2022.

On a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis, offers are mostly lower this week as lower liquid tanker freight rates have offset slight gains in FOB ethanol offers. Prices for ethanol C&F to Central America from the U.S. Gulf are down 1.1 percent this week and are down 13.2 percent from this same week in 2022. Values for PNW ethanol to Southeast Asia average $780.38/MT this week, down 0.7 percent from the prior week and down 16.4 percent year-over-year. That compares to U.S. Gulf to Southeast Asia C&F prices that average $839.33/MT and are down 1.3 percent from last week and are down 17.1 percent year-over-year. C&F prices for Brazilian ethanol to Southeast Asia are up 1.7 percent from last week.