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Philippines' H1 Mar bioethanol price climbs 2% versus H2 Feb on rising cost of molasses

Singapore — Rising molasses prices continued to fuel the Philippines' domestic bioethanol reference price higher, climbing1.85% on a half-monthly basis to Pesos 59.86/liter ($1,197/cu m) in first-half March, data released Wednesday by the Sugar Regulatory Administration showed.

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In H1 March, the average imported fuel ethanol price was $466.63/cu m CIF Philippines, S&P Global Platts data showed, which remained less than half of locally produced ethanol prices.

While the price of feedstock molasses continued to climb, sugar prices in contrast, declined.

For H1 March, Negros molasses price rose 6.83% from H2 February, to Peso 11,339.74/mt, the highest level since the Sugar Regulatory Administration started releasing data. This resulted in a higher equivalent feedstock cost of Peso 48.12/liter ($0.91/liter). Local Negros molasses prices were expected to stay elevated until July, a trader reported.

Another trader said "I expect domestic bioethanol reference price to touch Peso 61-62/liter in the coming months (as) price of local Negros molasses should start easing after July as fresh molasses reach the mills from the harvest."

Meanwhile, the price of sugar, which is the other feedstock, fell by 2.79% from H2 February to Pesos 1,460.27/lkg ($556/mt), resulting in higher equivalent feedstock at Pesos 27.01/liter ($0.51/liter) in H1 March, down 2.8% from H2 February.

The H1 March increase in the Philippines domestic bioethanol reference price was the seventh consecutive half-monthly gain since December 2018. On a year on year basis, the domestic ethanol reference price in H1 March was up 16.89%.

-- Donavan Lim, d.lim@spglobal.com Staff

-- Edited by Norazlina Jumaat, newsdesk@spglobal.com