Ethanol Prices, markets & analysis
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Ethanol overview Transcript
The European ethanol market is a traditional one, and it covers the two main grades the 99% industrial, which is both synthetic and fermented and the 96% neutral beverage grade which is mainly based on molasses.
The market is generally quarterly based but there is also an element of monthly distribution and spot business. There are also some longer term contracts and they’re typically for the larger volume customers.
There’s also a 96% rectified neutral grade (REN) market which is a seasonal one and typically goes into the screen wash sector.
Other downstream sectors include industrial applications, cosmetic and pharmaceutical and also different beverage beverages as well.
The overall pricing trend has been firm particularly in the second half of this year, and this is due to: globally poor harvests; a resulting lack of imports; synthetic production problems and robust demand.
The future outlooks also set to be firm and increasing. This is due to the next harvest availability, due mid next year in Europe and also the renewable energy directive in Europe which is set to boost biofuel consumption by 10% by 2020. So this will have an additional burden on the traditional ethanol market.
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Ethanol: Market overview
First-quarter European contract prices for both 96% beverage grade and 99% industrial grade ethanol were stable-to-weak from the previous quarter. Demand for 96% beverage grade ethanol in Europe is usually lower during the first quarter, according to sources. A source in the 99% industrial grade ethanol market said that the first quarter has got off to a slow start and that it does not expect to see any improvements in demand. However, the source said it believes prices will remain stable throughout the quarter.
Asian anhydrous ethanol spot prices are set for a roller-coaster ride, affected mainly by fluctuations in US corn and ethanol prices. Demand from end-users in the key Philippines region for the first-quarter of the year remains stable on increased blending mandates. Trading activity for Beverage-grade (B-grade) ethanol for first-quarter requirements is expected to remain subdued as most end-users have covered their production needs with previous procurements.
Updated to mid-Jan 2014
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Ethanol news & analysis
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Ethanol is a colourless, flammable volatile liquid, with characteristic odour and burning taste. It is miscible with water, ether, acetone, benzene and a wide range of organic products. Ethanol vapour mixes well with air, and explosive mixtures are easily formed.
The two major outlets for industrial ethanol are as a solvent and in chemical synthesis.
Ethanol is used as a chemical intermediate for the manufacture of ethyl acetate, ethyl acrylate, acetic acid, glycol ethers and ethylamines as well as other products. It is also used as an additive to food and beverages.
A large outlet for ethanol is as a fuel, oxygenate additive to gasoline and a gasoline extender.
In addition, ethanol can be used in perfume due to its light odour and quick evaporation.