Ethanol Market and Pricing Data – September 20, 2023

Ethanol, Fuels and Co-Product Pricing

Market Outlook: U.S. ethanol prices ended last week 6 percent higher but pared those gains in early week trading and fell 5.3 percent through Tuesday’s close. Midwest wholesale rack ethanol prices were higher to end last week but were down 3.6 percent through Tuesday’s market close to their last quote of 66.24 cents/liter (250.75 cents/gallon).

FOB Houston ethanol prices finished last week 6.4 percent higher but are down 1.8 percent through Tuesday’s trading from Friday’s close. FOB Houston ethanol prices are quoted at 65.82 cents/liter (249.15 cents/gallon). FOB Santos, Brazil anhydrous ethanol prices were higher last week; they are up in early week trading, rising 1.3 percent to 61.26 cents/liter (231.9 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 4.56 cents/liter (17.25 cents/gallon).

MTBE prices rose 2.5 percent last week and rallied further still in early week trading to gain 0.9 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 54.84 cents/liter (207.57 cents/gallon).

BTX component prices were mixed last week and continued that performance through Tuesday’s market close: Benzene was up 8.1 percent while Toluene was down 2.1 percent, and Xylene was down 2 percent. The estimated weighted average aromatic price is currently 110.82 cents/liter (419.49 cents/gallon), down from last Friday’s close. The BTX-Houston ethanol spread widened last week, and the weighted average BTX price is 45 cents/liter (170.34 cents/gallon) higher than the FOB Houston ethanol price.

Gasoline and petroleum products were mostly higher last week but were mixed 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 2.3 and 0.8 percent, respectively. WTI futures are 0.3 percent lower at $90.48/barrel while Brent futures are up 0.5 percent to $94.4/barrel, from Friday through Tuesday’s close.

Liquid tanker rates are 2 percent lower on average this week with offers for Brazil to India seeing the largest gains (up 1 percent). Freight from the U.S. Gulf to the East Coast of Mexico saw the largest declines and is down 8 percent from last week. On average, tanker freight from the U.S. Gulf is down 2 percent this week while freight from the PNW has posted a 2 percent decline. Liquid tanker freight rates from Brazil are down 0 percent, on average, this week. Freight rates across all origins are 30 percent lower than this same week in 2022.

On a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis, offers are mostly higher this week as higher FOB offers for ethanol offset lower freight rates. Prices for ethanol C&F to Central America from the U.S. Gulf are up 1.5 percent this week and are down 7.4 percent from this same week in 2022. Values for PNW ethanol to Southeast Asia average $871.7/MT this week, up 1 percent from the prior week but down 4.2 percent year-over-year. That compares to U.S. Gulf to Southeast Asia C&F prices that average $954.83/MT and are up 1.3 percent from last week but are down 8.3 percent year-over-year. C&F prices for Brazilian ethanol to Southeast Asia are up 0.9 percent from last week.