Ethanol Market and Pricing Data – December 12, 2017

1. Ethanol, Fuels and Co-Product Pricing

Market Outlook: U.S. ethanol prices are lower this week as increased production, slower blending rates and rising ethanol stocks pressure the markets. Nearby CBOT ethanol futures fell to a new lifetime low on Tuesday as the USDA made upward revisions to its corn used in ethanol production forecast. Nearby futures are down 0.34 cents/liter (1.34 cents/gallon) today and fell 4.1 percent (1.45 cents/liter or 5.5 cents/gallon) from last week. Midwest rack prices are similarly lower, falling 2.1 percent to 38.73 cents/liter (146.6 cents/gallon) as cash market trading remains quiet amid growing bearish sentiment.

FOB Houston ethanol prices are 1.8 percent lower this week, falling 0.67 cents/liter to 37.04 cents/liter (140.225 cents/gallon). FOB Santos, Brazil ethanol prices are steady so far this week at 58.328 cents/liter (220.795 cents/gallon). The FOB Santos-FOB Houston spread widened 4.5 percent (0.921 cents/liter or 3.45 cents/gallon) this week to its last quote of 21.284 cents/liter (80.57 cents/gallon). The spread forged its second six-month low in as many weeks and U.S. ethanol continues to gain competitiveness on the world market.

MTBE prices corrected from last week’s move higher, falling 2.5 percent to 50.24 cents/liter (190.16 cents/gallon). FOB Houston MTBE is priced 13.19 cents/liter (49.94 cents/gallon) above FOB Houston ethanol.

BTX component prices are mixed this week with the weighted average value of BTX falling. Benzene prices fell only 0.4 percent week-over-week while toluene prices rose 3 percent and Xylene prices lost 4.2 percent. The weighted average aromatic price is currently estimated at 64.61 cents/liter ($2.4457/gallon), down 1.5 percent from last week. The weighted average BTX price is 27.56 cents/liter (1.043 cents/gallon) higher than FOB Houston ethanol prices.

Gasoline and petroleum products are mixed in early-week trading. RBOB futures fell 1.1 percent on weakness in the broader energy markets, while RBOB FOB Houston rose 0.4 cents/liter (1.5 cents/gallon) and 87 octane CBOB FOB Houston increased 0.4 cents/liter (1.5 cents/gallon). WTI and Brent crude oil futures are both essentially steady this week, with WTI down 0.2 percent and Brent up 0.3 percent.

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