US corn and SBM prices up; DDGS is the most competitive plant protein available; Ethanol prices too are competitive

US corn futures moved up this week by over 1%. Mar closed $140.31/MT, up 1.14%; May $143.69/MT, up 1.22% and Jul $146.92/MT up 1.14%. Over last month, the prices were up by 1.91%$, 1.67% and 1.47% respectively. The prices are up as the news of a short Argentine corn and less exports from South Africa hit the market. US corn of FOB basis, despite a slight uptrend remains competitive and cheaper at $164/MT against Brazilian corn at $168/MT and Black sea corn at $167/MT on FOB basis.

India is likely to harvest a good corn/Maize crop in Mar/Apr 2018 and future prices remain more at less stable. Rabi corn (Gulabbagh, Bihar) for May 2018 was indicated at Rs.11310/MT a the week closed early due to Friday holiday on the occasion on Republic Day (Jan 26, 2018). Spot prices in South were up by 0.29% to Rs.13470 and in Gulabbagh down by 0.72% to Rs.13000. Compared agaiunst last month, South prices were up by 2% and Gulabbagh up by 0.19%. As at both the locations, a good corn/maize crop is expected, prices could drop.

On the plant protein side, US SBM prices moved up this week by 4.31% to $387/MT, Argentine SBM was up by 2.23% to $367/MT and Brazilian up by 1.42% to $356/MT. All the above prices are on FOB basis at respective e country ports. As against last month, US SBM prices were up by 14.16%, Argentine prices up by 10.54% and Brazilian prices by 12.66%. Indian SBM prices against last week were up by over 13$=% and SBM is being delivered to feed mills in South India at Rs.32000/MT. US DDGS prices in this one week on FOB basis have gone up by $4/Mt to $211/MT and indicative prices delivered to the region is $264/MT. The delivered price of US DDGS has gone up by $10/MT (3.92%) in this one month. Based on the protein availability Indian SBM is priced at Rs.727/percent protein and US DDGS would cost Rs.705/Percent protein and there is additional advantage of 6-7% fat and high phosphorus in US DDGS (The price working is based on a ZERO % duty in India). Feed manufacturers, integrators around India, within the SAARC and ASEAN regions, continue to import US DDGS and using it in livestock feeds and taking advantage of low priced plant protein. US DDGS demand continues to grow across the world and also in the region.

Ethanol, is a clean burning fuel that will be solve some of Air Pollution problems in most parts of India, especially the one due to vehicular pollution caused by gasoline, which emits more noxious gases and particulate matter. Last week, US ethanol futures closed slightly higher, Feb up 2.18% to $0.360/Lit; Mar up 1.69% to $0.365/Lit’ Apr up 1.37%t to $ 0.372/Lit; May up 1.35% to $0.377/Li and Jun up 1.06% to $0.38/Lit. Against last month, prices are down for Mar by 0.14%; 0.50% for Apr and 0.49% for May 2018 futures. Brazilian Ethanol at this time is priced at $0.605/lit (On FOB basis).

Amit Sachdev, Serving Agriculture and Livestock in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka * E Mail: asachdev@grains.org

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