Soft prices, strong dollar affect DDGS markets

By Sean Broderick, CHS | March 08, 2017

As March (and springtime) begins, prices have been softening. DDGS production has been strong, and the world has an ample supply of grains. As a result, new distillers trades that are happening are not moving the market as much as earlier. There were a lot of plants that locked in production margins when they were better back in November and December, and have been living off those DDGs sales made for January and February. All along, for March and deferred months, plants were seeing spot DDGS values versus corn prices at historically low percentages, and elected not to sell. Now, there are lower prices trading, particularly in the spot time frames.

Internationally, Chinese New Year and the accompanying Asian logistics challenges are in the past. The Vietnamese market is still not open to DDGS due to fumigation issues and Chinese buying is still slow because of the antidumping tariff. Prices are nearly low enough, however, for Chinese buyers to be able to pay the tariff and still have it work in their rations. It’s truly remarkable. There has also been good demand from Thailand. Mexican buying has been quite strong, with the added bonus of much improved rail logistics resulting in fast turns.

One challenge has been the strong dollar, especially in Mexico. While down a bit in recent weeks, the news of NAFTA renegotiation being opened in mid-March is sure to present more volatility.

Price comparison, $/ton

LOCATION

April 2017

March 2017

April 2016

Minnesota

90

90

120

Chicago

100

105

140

Buffalo, N.Y.

125

105

145

Central Calif.

152

160

187

Central Fla.

142

148

162