US refined glycerine Q1 contracts rise on supply, demand

13 January 2011 16:32  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US refined glycerine first-quarter contracts were assessed up 2 cents/lb ($44/tonne, €33/tonne) on tighter supply and stronger demand, suppliers and buyers confirmed on Thursday.

Vegetable derived refined glycerine contracts were assessed at 36-44 cents/lb FOB (free on board) midwest, up 2 cents/lb on the low end, with no change on the high end.

Tallow-based refined glycerine contracts were assessed at 34-43 cents/lb FOB midwest, also moving up 2 cents/lb on the low end only, as sources in both tiers said the ranges narrowed but the high ends were stable.

“It was all over the place,” one supplier said about first-quarter contract negotiations.

Glycerine refiners and other sellers said supply and demand fundamentals were fairly balanced going into the first quarter, as the US economy gained strength and glycerine end-uses such as foods and cosmetics were healthy.

Crude glycerine was assessed at 12-16 cents/lb FOB midwest for bio-crude of 80% and higher purity, unchanged from the previous ICIS assessment.

However, crude glycerine from oleochemical and bio-crude sources was said to be in short supply because of the lack of US biodiesel production.

During biodiesel production, bio-crude prices were as low as 2 cents/lb FOB midwest.

First-quarter refined glycerine contracts often settle ahead of the December holidays, but this year the late-breaking reinstatement of the biodiesel tax credit pushed finalising accounts into January for some sellers.

Sellers said this happened at some accounts because buyers’ perception was that the biodiesel industry would quickly ramp up and flood additional crude glycerine into the refined segment.

US glycerine producers and refiners include Procter & Gamble, Vantage Oleochemical, Dial and Twin Rivers Technology. Bio-crude producers and refiners include Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Cargill.

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Judith Taylor
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