DDGS prices work back up, after season lows

By Sean Broderick, CHS | October 29, 2015

With Halloween approaching, DDGS prices are starting to work higher, after seeing their season lows at the beginning of October.  U.S. buyers are picking up their usage, and demand from the export market, particularly for containers, has stayed pretty steady.

Compared with last year at this time, freight issues are nearly non-existent. Railcars are moving very well throughout the system, barge rates are dropping from their bean harvest seasonal highs, and bulk vessel rates are down around all-time lows, and expected to stay that way for quite a while. 

Chinese demand, which has been the price driver all year, has been practically non-existent for the last 2 months. After record shipments there for the summer, primarily in bulk vessels, buying has slowed dramatically. Mexico demand has been very strong, and not sure that the moisture from Hurricane Patricia doesn’t have some effect on their corn production, which may boost additional DDGS buying.

Given the effect that Chinese buying has on prices, one would do well to pay attention to the regulatory climate toward DDGS and other U.S. feed products over there. One of the major Chinese ethanol producers recently petitioned the government to institute an anti-dumping investigation of U.S. DDGS, (the decision is still pending) and the import permit system has been cumbersome at times. Any changes could have significant influence on prices for 2016.

DDGS Prices ($/ton)      
LOCATION Dec  2015 November 2015 Dec  2014   
Minnesota 110 115 95  
Chicago 138 135 100  
Buffalo, N.Y. 140 128 130  
Central Calif. 178 178 170  
Central Fla. 155 158 145