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Falling ethanol prices outpace dropping corn to lower crush margin.

Houston — The US ethanol crush margin on Aug. 3 slipped into single digits again, falling to 5.81 cents/gal, a decrease of 8.49. cents since S&P Global Platts last published its crush margin tracker on July 27.

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A steep drop in ethanol prices offset a seperate decline in corn futures to pull down the crush margin.

Platts assessed Chicago Argo ethanol at $1.1920/gal on Aug. 3, down 10.45 cents since July 27. Ethanol prices slumped after the US Energy Information Administration showed a large increase in production and a large build in stocks in its July 29 report.

S&P Global Platts Analytics forecast that production will fall 20,000 b/d to 938,000 b/d in the upcoming Aug. 5 report.

Front-month CBOT corn futures also dropped, falling 7.5cents from July 27.

The crush margin measures the cost of ethanol against the cost of feedstock corn used to produce the biofuel. A simple crush margin can be calculated by dividing the cost of corn per bushel by 2.8, the number of gallons of ethanol that a bushel of corn can produce. The resulting number is the cost of corn per gallon of ethanol.

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