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April 19, 2012

US ethanol lower on high supply and cheap corn


Ethanol fell lower for a fourth day as corn declined and an Energy Department report showed stockpiles increased.

Prices slipped as corn, the primary feedstock used to make the biofuel in the US, sank and after the Energy Department said inventories swelled 0.9% to 22 million barrels, the first gain since March 16. Ethanol is blended with gasoline to stretch supply and meet federal mandates.

"The DOE's came out with a build," said Ian Jackson, a trader at SCB & Associates LLC in Chicago. "It was a washout with corn. Gasoline's down. It is kind of a flush out everywhere."

Denatured ethanol for May delivery fell 3.6 cents, or 1.7%, to settle at US$2.12 a gallon on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices have dropped 3.8% this year.

In cash market trading, ethanol plunged 7 cents, or 3.2%, to US$2.10 a gallon in Chicago and in the US Gulf the biofuel slumped 6 cents, or 2.7%, to US$2.165, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Ethanol in New York slipped 5.5 cents, or 2.4%, to US$2.195 a gallon and on the West Coast the additive lost 1 cent, or 0.4%, to US$2.28.

Corn futures for July delivery declined 13.25 cents, or 2.2% to close at US$5.94 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Gasoline for May delivery fell 3.13 cents, or 1%, to settle at US$3.2027 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract covers reformulated gasoline, or RBOB, which is mixed with ethanol before delivery to filling stations.

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