Ethanol, Fuels and Co-Product Pricing
Market Outlook: U.S. ethanol prices ended last week 3.6 percent higher but were steady in early week trading through Tuesday’s close. Midwest wholesale rack ethanol prices were higher to end last week and were up 0.7 percent through Tuesday’s market close to their last quote of 64.95 cents/liter (245.87 cents/gallon).
FOB Houston ethanol prices finished last week 4 percent higher and are up 0.4 percent through Tuesday’s trading from Friday’s close. FOB Houston ethanol prices are quoted at 63.16 cents/liter (239.1 cents/gallon). FOB Santos, Brazil anhydrous ethanol prices were higher last week; they are down in early week trading, falling 0.8 percent to 58.69 cents/liter (222.15 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 4.48 cents/liter (16.95 cents/gallon).
MTBE prices rose 8 percent last week and rallied further still in early week trading to gain 4.8 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 52.4 cents/liter (198.35 cents/gallon).
BTX component prices were mixed last week and continued that performance through Tuesday’s market close: Benzene was up 0.8 percent while Toluene and Xylene were both down 0.4 percent. The estimated weighted average aromatic price is currently 111.52 cents/liter (422.15 cents/gallon), down from last Friday’s close. The BTX-Houston ethanol spread narrowed last week, and the weighted average BTX price is 48.36 cents/liter (183.05 cents/gallon) higher than the FOB Houston ethanol price.
Gasoline and petroleum products were mostly lower last week but were mixed in early week trade. RBOB futures are down 0.4 percent to start the week while 84 octane RBOB (Houston) and 87 octane CBOB (U.S. Gulf) gasoline prices are unchanged so far this week. WTI futures are 1.3 percent higher at $86.69/barrel while Brent futures are up 1.7 percent to $90.05/barrel, from Friday through Tuesday’s close.
Liquid tanker rates are 1 percent higher on average this week with offers for the U.S. PNW to India seeing the largest gains (up 8 percent). Freight from the U.S. Gulf to the East Coast of Mexico saw the largest declines and is down 12 percent from last week. On average, tanker freight from the U.S. Gulf is steady this week while freight from the PNW has posted a 6 percent increase. Liquid tanker freight rates from Brazil are up 2 percent, on average, this week. Freight rates across all origins are 8 percent lower than this same week in 2022.
On a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis, offers are mostly higher this week as both freight rates and FOB ethanol offers have climbed. Prices for ethanol C&F to Central America from the U.S. Gulf are up 1.8 percent this week and are down 9 percent from this same week in 2022. Values for PNW ethanol to Southeast Asia average $822.68/MT this week, down 0.4 percent from the prior week and down 4.1 percent year-over-year. That compares to U.S. Gulf to Southeast Asia C&F prices that average $901.08/MT and are up 2.4 percent from last week but are down 13 percent year-over-year. C&F prices for Brazilian ethanol to Southeast Asia are down 0.4 percent from last week.