Commodities: Longevity, depth of Chinese market at top of mind

By Sean Broderick, CHS | March 24, 2015

Coming into March Madness, DDGS prices are still being dramatically affected by Chinese demand, in both bulk and container shipments.  More than 2.5 million metric tons have been booked via the Gulf in bulk vessels destined for China so far for the summer, the bulk of which is just starting to ship as the Mississippi thaws to the north.  And although the Chicago container market still continues to trade, the volume pales in comparison to the fervor we saw in that market last year.  The price spread between the per-ton cost of shipping containers versus bulk has narrowed dramatically, and more bulk business is expected.

Given the export prices being paid, domestic demand has dissipated. There is very little, if any, DDGS moving toward places like the Southeast U.S. poultry market. It is just too expensive and it is quickly become non-competitive in a lot of the other delivered markets as well, including Canada and Mexico.  Locally, trucks are still moving to the cattle and hog customers but are now even starting to feel some pushback from them.

Looking ahead for DDGS, the normal questions of, how many acres of corn will be planted, and what the weather is going to be like, are going to take a back seat to questions about the longevity and depth of the Chinese demand.

DDGS Prices ($/ton)      
LOCATION April 2015 March 2015 April 2014  
Minnesota 160 165 180  
Chicago 192 200 225  
Buffalo, N.Y. 195 200 215  
Central Calif. 246 254 280  
Central Fla. 228 232 262