US corn and co-product prices move up: US Sorghum prices competitive; DDGS prices up due to high SBM prices; Ethanol offers a solution to India’s Air Pollution problem

World corn prices moved up this week. US corn planting is slow as only 17% of the corn crop has been planted, against 32% last year and last 5 year average was 23%. US has had weather related issues. There is also the Brazil weather concern, which is a threat to the corn crop in Brazil. US corn on CBOT closed higher. May %156.92/MT, up 2.36%; Jul $159.91/MT, up 1.96%; Sep $162.83/MT up 2.02% and Dec $165.74/MT up 1.59 against last week’s close.

Higher corn prices, coupled with Ethanol plants closing for spring maintenance (less ethanol production) has led to higher ethanol and also DDGS prices in the market. US Ethanol futures closed higher last week. Jun $0.3963/lit up 3.10%; Jul $0.3981/lit, up 3.15%; Aug $4008/lit, up 3.06% and Sep $0.4008/Lit, up 2.43%. DDGS prices moved up not only due to less production, but also found support in SBM prices moving up in Argentina. US SBM prices on FOB basis were somewhat lower at $467/MT, down 1.48% and by Jun US SBM was indicated at $463/MT. Argentine SBM however was up at $454/MT, up 1.11%. DDGS prices on FOB basis (US Gulf), were up by 3.17% at $260/MT and CNF prices to Vietnam were up at $274/MT; China $270/MT, Chittagong $295/MT and Myanmar $291/MT.

With US corn prices going up, the other grain that could be used effectively in livestock rations is Sorghum. US Sorghum prices have come down by $10/MT on FOB basis in the last one month and currently priced at $191/MT. US Sorghum is ‘Tannin Free’ and can be used in poultry rations in the same manner as Corn.

Indian maize prices on the futures market have moved up slightly by 1%. Spot prices too are seen moving up as demand grows in the domestic industry and there is an export viability. Current price in ERODE is indicated at Rs.13709/MT; Gulabbagh at Rs.12000/MT and Nizamabad at Rs.12594/MT.

New Study titled “The Impact of Higher Ethanol Blend Levels on Vehicle Emissions in Five Global Cities” by Dr. Steffan Mueller at the University of Illinois at Chicago and his associates analysed the air quality of five major cities worldwide. By utilizing a spreadsheet based model, Dr.Mueller and his team utilized variables such as vehicle fleet descriptors, miles driven, current gasoline composition, projected electric vehicle share, etc. to determine vehicle emission reductions resulting from blending E10 and E20 into the gasoline supply of five major cities: Beijing, Mexico City, New Delhi, Seoul and Tokyo. On average, the study determined that blending E10 reduced deadly toxins such as carbon monoxide (CO), total hydrocarbons (THC), particulate matter (PM), weighted toxins including benzene and formaldehyde, and greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 15%. These compounds have been linked to global warming, ozone, acid rain, smog, heart disease, lung cancer, and death. At E20, these impacts were even more pronounced with average reductions as high as nearly 32%.

Using a E10 blend in New Delhi, would reduce CO by 3.1% and by using an E20 blend a reduction of 20.6% is possible. Total hydrocarbon reduction on 8.7% via an E10 blend and 7.4% via a E20 blend. PM levels could go down by 1.2% if E10 blend is used and reduction of 7.1% is possible if the blend of raised to E20. Weighted toxins levels could go down by 21.1% in case of E10 blend and 36.6% by E20 blend. Green House Gas (GHG) Emissions could go down by 3.6% via a E10 blend and 7.1% by E20 blend.

India is home of 15 of the top 20 most polluted cities. Delhi has the distinction of the being the 6th most polluted city. While there are other reasons for Air Pollution, vehicular pollution is one of the reasons and ethanol is one solution that can be used.

Amit Sachdev, Serving Agriculture and Livestock in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka * E Mail:

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