China ethanol imports seen increasing in months ahead
By Dominique Patton
BEIJING, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Chinese ethanol buyers are seeking more imports in coming months, trade sources said, but purchases could slow by the year-end as the industry awaits a cut to state corn prices.
Chinese imports of ethanol have surged this year, as buyers sought to take advantage of significantly lower ethanol prices in top producers Brazil and the United States.
Through July, China has imported 126,000 tonnes of ethanol for 2015, nearly five times as much ethanol as it did for all of last year, according to official customs figures.
And at least 50,000 more tonnes of the fuel arrived in August and early September, said a trader who declined to be identified.
Buyers include state-owned food and fuels company COFCO , which produces ethanol in Brazil as part of its majority stake in Noble Agri, and trading companies including Zhejiang Materials, said other industry sources.
More imports are likely in coming months, thanks to attractive discounts over domestically produced ethanol.
High-purity ethanol costs about 5,800 yuan ($910.49) per tonne while imports from the United States are being priced around $625 per cubic metre ($790 per tonne), including freight.
"I think purchases from the U.S. will really increase between June and November," said a China-based agent with a global trading company. Continuación...