Ethanol Market and Pricing Data – May 24, 2023

Ethanol, Fuels and Co-Product Pricing

Market Outlook: U.S. ethanol prices ended last week 1.2 percent lower but reversed that trend in early week trading and rose 1.2 percent through Tuesday’s close. Midwest wholesale rack ethanol prices were higher to end last week and were up 0.8 percent through Tuesday’s market close to their last quote of 67.58 cents/liter (255.82 cents/gallon).

FOB Houston ethanol prices finished last week 0.1 percent lower but are up 0.5 percent through Tuesday’s trading from Friday’s close. FOB Houston ethanol prices are quoted at 66.11 cents/liter (250.27 cents/gallon). FOB Santos, Brazil anhydrous ethanol prices were lower last week; they are down in early week trading, falling 1.3 percent to 62 cents/liter (234.7 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 4.11 cents/liter (15.57 cents/gallon).

MTBE prices rose 1.6 percent last week and extended those gains in early week trading to gain 3.6 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 1.89 cents/liter (7.16 cents/gallon).

BTX component prices were sharply lower last week but strengthened slightly through Tuesday’s market close: Benzene was up 0.2 percent while Toluene and Xylene were both steady. The estimated weighted average aromatic price is currently 94.07 cents/liter (356.08 cents/gallon), up from last Friday’s close. The BTX-Houston ethanol spread narrowed last week, and the weighted average BTX price is 27.95 cents/liter (105.82 cents/gallon) higher than the FOB Houston ethanol price.

Gasoline and petroleum products were higher last week and are still rising in early week trade. RBOB futures are up 3.3 percent to start the week while 84 octane RBOB (Houston) and 87 octane CBOB (U.S. Gulf) gasoline prices are up 2.3 and up 1.2 percent, respectively. WTI futures are 1.7 percent higher at $72.91/barrel while Brent futures are up 2.5 percent to $77.5/barrel, from Friday through Tuesday’s close.

Liquid tanker rates are 4 percent higher on average this week with offers for the U.S. Gulf to the East Coast of Mexico seeing the largest gains (up 69 percent). Freight from the U.S. Gulf to South Korea saw the largest declines and is down 2 percent from last week. On average, tanker freight from the U.S. Gulf is up 8 percent this week while freight from the PNW has posted a 1 percent decline. Liquid tanker freight rates from Brazil are down 1 percent, on average, this week. Freight rates across all origins are 16 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 up 0.4 percent this week and are down 14.3 percent from this same week in 2022. Values for PNW ethanol to Southeast Asia average $876.11/MT this week, down 1.3 percent from the prior week and down 20.5 percent year-over-year. That compares to U.S. Gulf to Southeast Asia C&F prices that average $952.39/MT and are down 0.4 percent from last week and are down 11.2 percent year-over-year. C&F prices for Brazilian ethanol to Southeast Asia are down 1.1 percent from last week.