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China's March ethanol imports fall 10.7% on month to 176,468 cu m

Singapore (Platts)--26 Apr 2018 706 am EDT/1106 GMT


China's total ethanol imports in March were 176,468 cu m, down 10.7% on the month, data released Wednesday by the General Administration of Customs showed.

In January 2017, China implemented a 30% import tariff on denatured ethanol, which led to a sharp fall in ethanol imports. Prior to that, US was the largest supplier of denatured ethanol to China, accounting for almost the entire volume of the country's imports.

Toward the end of 2017, the arbitrage window opened for US ethanol shipments to China, leading to imports in the first quarter of this year soaring to 424,437 cu m of denatured ethanol. Total Q1 ethanol imports amounted to 494,823 cu m, compared with 2,457 cu m in the year-ago period.

In early April, however, China increased the import duty on US denatured ethanol by 15 percentage points to 45%. This was likely to keep the arbitrage window closed for the rest of the year, market sources said.

Meanwhile, imports of undenatured ethanol in March were 32,346 cu m, up 276% from February. Pakistan was the biggest supplier in March, accounting for virtually all -- 99.8% -- of the total imports of undenatured ethanol.

China exported 3,973 cu m of ethanol in March, 83% of it going to North Korea.

For dried distiller grains, Chinese imported 12,894 mt in March, 3.5 times more than February. 100% of China's DDGS imports in March came from the US.

--Christina Siantar, Christina.siantar@spglobal.com

--Edited by Pankti Mehta, pankti.mehta@spglobal.com




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