Curtailed production activities across USA, skyrocketed Ethanol prices in the global market during Q1 2021. | ChemAnalyst

Posted June 23, 2021 by chemanalyst

Ethanol is a flammable and volatile organic chemical compound. It can be produced by a bio route as well as by a petrochemical route.

For the Quarter Ending March 2021

North America

In North America, the price of Ethanol surged due to production cuts and high demand from the domestic consumers as well as for exports. Ethanol prices skyrocketed during Q1 2021 as an effect of low feedstock corn availability. Furthermore, winter season disrupted the production activity across the gulf coast that led several production plants to face unplanned shutdowns during January-February. In addition, USA exports skyrocketed due to sudden rise in export demand from China.


In the Asian markets, overall demand for Ethanol remained firm from the downstream sectors during Q1 2021. In China, demand from the disinfectant sector-maintained stability over the prior quarter. Furthermore, to satisfy this demand, China imported a huge quantity of Ethanol from the US. In addition, feedstock corn prices in China were 35-45% high. Meanwhile, in the Indian market, heavy availability of feedstock sugarcane pushing down the prices of Ethanol for 3 months consecutively, CFR India prices of Ethanol settled down from USD 883.2 per MT (January 2021) to USD 750 per MT (March 2021).


Limited supply for Ethanol across the region supported its prices during Q1 2021. Though Europe is largely depending upon Ethanol imports from USA, tight supply kept a tab on the product availability. The supply from USA remained low due to low feedstock production and high exports and domestic demand in the country. Meanwhile the demand from disinfectant or sanitizers manufacturers remained stable throughout the quarter.

Market Overview:

Ethanol is a flammable and volatile organic chemical compound. It can be produced by a bio route as well as by a petrochemical route. In a petrochemical process, it is produced by hydration of Ethylene while the natural process involves the fermentation of sugar. Although, Ethanol is a major compound found in alcohol beverages but the product in its pure form is highly unfit for human consumption. Owing to its high solubility in water and ideal disinfectant properties, Ethanol can be utilized as a solvent in cleaning products, sanitizers and paints and varnishes. Ethanol is widely demanded in industries as a fuel as it efficiently supplies the required oxygen to fuel along with reducing excess emissions. It also enhances the octane number in fuel resulting in a longer life of engine. Ethanol is also widely utilized as an intoxicating ingredient in alcohol and thus constitutes vivid demand from the alcohol and beverages industry.

Product Specific Details

CAS No.: 64-17-5; HS Code: 22072000; Grades: Pure/absolute, denatured, industrial; Packaging Size: Tanker/Drum; Incoterms: CFR, FOB, Ex-Works, Bulk Contracted, Spot

Countries Covered:

APAC – China, Japan, India, South Korea, Singapore
Europe – Germany, France, Belgium
America – USA, Brazil
MEA – Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa

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Related Report:

Global Ethanol Market Analysis: Plant Capacity, Production, Operating Efficiency, Technology, Demand & Supply, End-User Industries, Distribution Channel, Regional Demand, 2015-2030

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Last Updated June 23, 2021