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Philippines' domestic bioethanol price rise on record molasses feedstock price

Singapore — The Philippines domestic bioethanol reference price climbed by 3.35% on a half-monthly basis to Pesos 58.26/liter ($1,165/cu m) in the first-half of February led by record feedstock molasses prices, data released Tuesday by the Sugar Regulatory Administration showed.

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Molasses, one of the feedstocks for Philippines' bioethanol, has climbed to historical high levels. For the first half of February 2019, Negros molasses price rose 6.73% from the second half of January 2019, to Peso 10,198.37/mt ($194.85/ mt), the highest level ever recorded since September 2011 when SRA first started to report prices.

The surge resulted in a higher equivalent feedstock cost for bioethanol of Peso 43.46/liter ($0.83/liter). Local negros molasses prices are expected to stay elevated until July, a trader reported, due to strong demand for domestic ethanol blending as the Philippines' government push for the usage of local ethanol.

The price of sugar, another bioethanol feedstock, climbed 4.22% from the second half of January to Pesos 1,539.23/lkg ($588.2/mt) in H1 February based on SRA data. This resulted in higher equivalent feedstock for bioethanol at Pesos 28.48/liter ($0.54/liter) in the first half of February, up 4.24% from second half of January, based on data from SRA.

The increase in the Philippines' domestic bioethanol reference price was the fifth consecutive half-monthly rise since the second half of November 2018. The domestic ethanol reference price in the first half January was up 23.96% from the same period a year ago.

In contrast, the average imported fuel ethanol price for first half of February was $454.67/cu m CIF Philippines, S&P Global Platts data showed, which was less than half of locally produced ethanol prices.

-- Donavan Lim / d.lim@spglobal.com, newsdesk@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Elizabeth Thang, newsdesk@spglobal.com