Volatility in CBOT corn futures over the past two sessions sidelined US ethanol traders June 2 as they tried to avoid being caught on the wrong end of sharp moves in feedstock prices.
Front-month CBOT corn futures fell to $6.75/bushel June 2 from $6.8875/bu the previous session, which had seen a 32-cent rise.
The benchmark Argo market slid to $2.5020/gal on the day from $2.5525/gal.
Corn futures started the truncated trading week racing higher amid concerns about unfavorable weather, but a Department of Agriculture report released after the market close June 1 showed planting progressing quickly, which weighed on corn futures June 2.
“Small size all day,” one ethanol broker said.
Physical and paper volumes were thin as buyers hoped to avoid overpaying if prices backed off while sellers were hesitant to lower offers amid low inventories.
Weekly Energy Information Administration data on ethanol production and stocks was due to be released June 3, delayed one day by the Memorial Day holiday May 31.
Traders also saw some post-holiday doldrums that stymied interest.
“I’m hearing a post-holiday lull on the demand front,” another source said. “We’ll probably see physical clean up again in the rail market pretty quickly later this week and next week.”