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China’s Feb ethanol imports hit several-year low at 9 cu m on closing arbitrage

China’s ethanol imports in February fell drastically to a several-year low of 9 cu m, merely around 0.39% of January’s imports, according to China customs data released late last Friday, due to the hike in import duty and bearish sentiment in the domestic market.

In February, China imported 4 cu m of undenatured ethanol, mainly from Japan and Germany. Meanwhile, imports of denatured ethanol were 5 cu m, mainly from Japan and Spain.

The very little imports volume was widely anticipated by the market, as the arbitrage window was closed due to the 30% import tariff on denatured ethanol. Additionally, bearish corn prices and the glut of corn in the country resulted in high operating rates in ethanol plants and low domestic ethanol prices.

On the export front, China sold 3,590 cu m ethanol in February, 2,358 cu m of it being undenatured ethanol. North Korea was the biggest buyer of China’s undenatured ethanol, at 2,064 cu m, while South Korea was the main buyer of its denatured ethanol, at 1,225 cu m.

In the dried distiller grains, China’s imports in February rose 91.2% month on month, or 32.8 million kg, to 68.8 million kg. All of the February imports were from the US.
Source: Platts

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