The US West Coast is emerging as an alternative outlet for ethanol shipments to Asia, Platts reported citing sources.

According to sources at a recent industry conference in Singapore, a Philippine oil company had chartered a vessel to transport 16,000 cu m of anhydrous fuel-grade ethanol from Oregon, representing the first ethanol shipment to Asia from the US West Coast. Traditionally, the southern Gulf Coast is used for exports to Asia.

The West Coast offers a swifter trip across the Pacific Ocean and ships would be able to avoid Gulf Coast congestion problems, says the report. This would be suitable for Asian importers, especially the Philippines where tenders are commonly launched only two to three months in advance.

Sources, however, have said that using the West Coast might not result in significant savings as it could prove hard to charter a vessel promptly there. Also, the cost of transporting ethanol from the Midwestern corn belt to the West Coast would be higher than to Houston or New Orleans.


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