Price and market trends: Asia hydrous ethanol prices to start 2013 on a high note

12 October 2012 09:40  [Source: ICB]

Asia prices of hydrous ethanol will start 2013 on a high note following flat prices in the last quarter of this year, on the back of lower availability and firmer prices from major supplier Brazil, market sources said.

Brazil, which is Asia's largest supplier of sugarcane-based ethanol, is likely to offer cargoes at higher prices because producers there are planning for fewer exports compared to 2012, despite a forecast of stronger feedstock crop yields for 2013.

According to estimates by UNICA, the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association, the country will harvest 3.21% more sugarcane year on year at 509,000 tonnes in 2013, but the percentage of crops for refining into ethanol instead of sugar will drop to 51.25% from 51.56% in 2012.

Brazil's ethanol exports, part of which go to Asia, are expected to be reduced by 8.11% in 2013, the UNICA data showed.

Offers heard during the week ended 1 October were higher week on week at $700-705/cbm (€539-543/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) northeast (NE) Asia, a trader said.

Meanwhile, prices are expected to remain largely stable for the rest of 2012 as key importers Japan and South Korea are comfortably stocked while small volumes totalling 30,000-40,000cbm of B-grade ethanol in storage at Ulsan port in South Korea will be sufficient to meet short-term requirements.

B-grade ethanol is a variant of hydrous ethanol that is used in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages and is widely traded in Asia. Market players are awaiting fresh offers from Pakistan and Thailand for the first quarter of 2013, in anticipation of the new crop season in both countries in November.

By: Andrea Heng
+65 6780 4359

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