Plantations International News

Platts, a global provider of energy and commodities information, has begun publishing price assessments for a key ethanol by-product increasingly used as animal feed in the US and globally.

The new references are for dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) and reflect values for the Midwest, the key corn, wheat, and grains producing region in the US, and exportable values at the US Gulf Coast.

DDGS is a by-product from the making of ethanol using a dry-mill method, which grinds into flour the whole grain kernel rather than separating it into its germ, fiber, protein, and starch parts prior to  fermentation, as done in the wet-milling process.

‘With US ethanol production beyond 340 million barrels in 2014, 90% of which was produced through the dry-mill process, it’s easy to understand the market’s heightened desire for an independent source of pricing data for the burgeoning DDGS-as-feed market,’ says Sophie Byron, Platts managing editor of Americas agriculture.

Exports of DDGS, increasingly used as feed for beef and dairy cattle, totalled more than 11 million tonnes in 2014, with buying interest concentrated in China and broader Asia. 

‘We believe the demand for feed substances in the U.S. and worldwide will only grow over time. By having two assessments, one focused on the domestic price and the other on the export price, we’ll be providing buyers, sellers, traders and brokers the pricing insight they need to make better business decisions,’ Byron says.

The assessments are:

  • Platts DDGS FOB Chicago: the physical spot market value of DDGS free on board (FOB) as delivered by 25-short-ton truck or rail-head to Channahon, Illinois, for the following week delivery.
  • Platts DDGS CIF New Orleans: the physical spot market value of DDGS 1,500-short tons cost, insurance, and freight as delivered on a barge to New Orleans and having loaded any period over the front month.

Both assessments reflect export-quality DDGS with a minimum protein content of 25%, colour of 50 (a colorimetric measurement of nutritional value after exposure to heat), fat of 6%, and a moisture level of 10% to 12%.

Biofuels Plantations International