Ethanol Market and Pricing Data – July 12, 2023

Ethanol, Fuels and Co-Product Pricing

Market Outlook: U.S. ethanol prices ended last week 0.8 percent lower but strengthened in early week trading and rose 2.1 percent through Tuesday’s close. Midwest wholesale rack ethanol prices were lower to end last week but were up 1.6 percent through Tuesday’s market close to their last quote of 68.77 cents/liter (260.31 cents/gallon).

FOB Houston ethanol prices finished last week 4 percent lower but are up 2.2 percent through Tuesday’s trading from Friday’s close. FOB Houston ethanol prices are quoted at 65.36 cents/liter (247.41 cents/gallon). FOB Santos, Brazil anhydrous ethanol prices were lower last week; they are down in early week trading, falling 5.4 percent to 58.2 cents/liter (220.3 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 7.16 cents/liter (27.11 cents/gallon).

MTBE prices rose 1.9 percent last week and extended that rally in early week trading to gain 1.3 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 4.49 cents/liter (17 cents/gallon).

BTX component prices were mixed last week and continued that trend through Tuesday’s market close: Benzene was down 0.2 percent while Toluene was up 2 percent, and Xylene was up 1.9 percent. The estimated weighted average aromatic price is currently 92.77 cents/liter (351.19 cents/gallon), up from last Friday’s close. The BTX-Houston ethanol spread widened last week, and the weighted average BTX price is 27.41 cents/liter (103.77 cents/gallon) higher than the FOB Houston ethanol price.

Gasoline and petroleum products were higher last week and extended those gains in early week trade. RBOB futures are up 1.3 percent to start the week while 84 octane RBOB (Houston) and 87 octane CBOB (U.S. Gulf) gasoline prices are up 1.2 and unchanged, respectively. WTI futures are 1.3 percent higher at $74.83/barrel while Brent futures are up 1.1 percent to $79.35/barrel, from Friday through Tuesday’s close.

Liquid tanker rates are 1 percent lower on average this week with offers for the U.S. Gulf to Europe saw the largest declines (down 9 percent). Freight for the U.S. PNW to India saw the largest gains and is up 6 percent from last week. On average, tanker freight from the U.S. Gulf is down 3 percent this week while freight from the PNW has posted a 5 percent increase. Liquid tanker freight rates from Brazil are down 1 percent, on average, this week. Freight rates across all origins are 39 percent lower than this same week in 2022.

On a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis, offers from the U.S. Gulf are higher due to firmer FOB prices while lower offers for PNW and Brazilian ethanol and less costly freight from these origins pressured offers.  Prices for ethanol C&F to Central America from the U.S. Gulf are up 0.7 percent this week and are down 5.7 percent from this same week in 2022. Values for PNW ethanol to Southeast Asia average $805.32/MT this week, down 4.8 percent from the prior week and down 18.5 percent year-over-year. That compares to U.S. Gulf to Southeast Asia C&F prices that average $915.67/MT and are up 1.3 percent from last week but are down 9.6 percent year-over-year. C&F prices for Brazilian ethanol to Southeast Asia are down 2.8 percent from last week.