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Non-Fuel Ethanol Price Assessment Explained: Agriculture Price Assessments

Daily prices, news and analysis on for Ethyl alcohol

Platts Non-Fuel Ethanol

Our spot and forward price assessments for non-fuel ethanol provide transparent data for the use in developing contracts, market data and spot transactions. Our prices are published in full on our real time service, Platts Biofuels Alert and is summarized in our daily publication Biofuelscan.



What is non-fuel ethanol

Non-fuel ethanol (or Ethyl alcohol) is found in the manufacturing process for a wide range of products in the chemicals, plastics, pharmaceutical and beverage industries, including cosmetics, cleaning products, paints and alcoholic drinks. Its use in applications other than fuel blending accounts for approx. 20 billion liters of ethanol, or 15-20% of global consumption.

Brazil is by far the largest exporter of non-fuel ethanol and its largest export, Grade B ethanol, represents between 20% and 40% of the total ethanol exported out of the country. The majority of Grade B ethanol is sold on a FOB Santos or Paranagua port basis to major trading companies.

Asia is the largest import destination for non-fuel ethanol with the port of Ulsan in South Korea being the main destination for Grade B exports from Brazil. Annually, the port sees close to 700,000 cubic meters of either stored or break bulk ethanol for onward sale to either Korean or Japanese end-users.

In 2014 South Korea represented 30% of total ethanol exports from Brazil, with Japan representing 7%. The majority of Asian imported ethanol is sold to Japanese beverage companies, which use it in the production of sake, shochu and beer, while a slightly smaller portion is used by Korean chemical and beverage companies.

North Asian Grade B imports typically come from a small pool of seaborne exporters, chief among which are Brazil and Pakistan. In recent months, most Pakistan exports have been sold into China, a new entrant in the Asian market. This has left Brazil as the main supply hub for Grade B ethanol on a CFR Ulsan basis.

Platts on October 1, 2015 started a daily assessment of the import value of Ethanol Grade B on a CFR Ulsan basis.

Non-fuel ethanol price assessment methodology

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There are many grades of ethanol, and often many names for the same grade, but the most common name for the non-fuel ethanol used in Japan and Korea is Grade B. Our non-fuel ethanol price assessments are based on robust and transparent market data that includes firm bids and offers, expressions of interest to trade and confirmed trades reported during the Market on Close process every day. The following factors are accounted for in Platts price assessment methodology.



Brazil non-ethanol price assessments

In Brazil, Grade B FOB Santos/Paranagua basis is assessed in USD per cubic meter and reflects the tradable and repeatable spot market value at 1415 Houston time. Price information is collected directly from a wide cross-segment of active market participants.

  • The assessment reflects typical grade B specifications, normalized to standard Ethanol Grade B at 20 degrees with a maximum of 40mg/100ml of higher alcohols.
  • Volume is normalized to 5,000 cu m, while the timing will be for delivery to Ulsan 60-90 days forward.
  • In the absence of representative FOB Santos/Paranagua price information, Platts may also refer to domestic hydrous ex-mill Ribeirao price assessment adjusted premium to Grade B specifications, plus freight and terminal costs.


Asia non-ethanol price assessments

In Asia, Grade B CFR Ulsan is assessed in USD per cubic meter and reflects the tradable and repeatable spot market value at 1630 Singapore time. Price information is collected directly from a wide cross-segment of active market participants.

  • The assessment reflects typical grade B specifications, normalized to standard Ethanol Grade B at 20 degrees with a maximum of 40mg/100ml of higher alcohols.
  • Volume is normalized to 5,000 cu m, while the timing will be for delivery to Ulsan 60-90 days forward.
  • In the absence of representative CFR Ulsan price information, Platts may also refer to FOB prices from relevant supply origins using prevailing spot freight rates.


About Platts price assessments

Platts assesses fuel ethanol in Chicago, Rotterdam, Asia and Brazil. Since April, 2014 we have assessed non-fuel ethanol with the introduction of the Grade B price on FOB Santos/Paranagua basis in Brazil. Platts has since then expanded into offering an assessment for Grade B on CFR Ulsan basis as of October, 2015.

We continuously work with key industry stakeholders to ensure that our price assessments evolve in step with changing market conditions and regularly holds methodology forums, webinars and one-to-one meetings to exchange views on the future of fuel ethanol.


Global Biofuels Methodology and Specifications Guide


NEWS AND ANALYSIS


July 15, 2016
Chatter has grown increasingly loud about Indian buying interest for seaborne, imported ethanol and there has been a flurry of new players hoping to jump onto the bandwagon.

How do I access the price of non-fuel ethanol?

Platts non-fuel ethanol assessments are available in the following Platts services.

Market Data - Biofuels

  • Access the latest, most accurate biofuels price data. This service provides you with our end-of-day assessments, corrections, third-party data, and a rolling 45-day historical database
  • The most efficient and reliable way to receive our industry-standard benchmark assessments data
  • Complete and custom historical data sets are also available

Platts Biofuelscan

  • Covers all the main biofuel markets worldwide, with over 100 Platts' price assessments
  • Daily coverage of the biofuels markets including a summary of events and developments
  • Includes the critical price assessments, essential news, in-depth analysis and expert commentary

Platts Biofuels Alert

  • Provides up-to-the-minute developments, price discovery, and market commentary for the world's ethanol, biodiesel, RIN, RVO and feedstocks markets
  • Real-time coverage of news and markets from our team of dedicated market specialists
  • End-of-day assessments covering more than 100 prices



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