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AMIS Market Monitor

last release: December 2018

Policy Developments


  • The Ministry of Energy in Argentina announced a price increase for maize-based ethanol and biodiesel and a price decrease for sugarcane-based ethanol for fuel companies, starting in November 2018. The prices were set at USD 0.55 per litre for maize-based ethanol (higher by 8 percent), USD 782.3 per metric tonne for biodiesel (higher by 2 percent), and USD 0.59 per litre for cane-based ethanol (lower by 3 percent).
  • The National Council for Energy Policies in Brazil proposed to increase the biodiesel blending mandate – which is currently 10 percent - by one percentage point per year, starting from June 2019. The increase would continue for the next five years, reaching 15 percent by 2023. 
  • On 5 November, the Department of Commerce of the US has started a “changed circumstances” review process that examines the antidumping and countervailing duties that the US imposed on Argentine biodiesel companies. This review process was requested by the government of Argentina after it had increased its export taxes on biodiesel and raised its biodiesel prices. A “changed circumstances” review usually takes around 270 days, meaning that a final determination could be reached by August 2019.
  • On 30 November, the Environmental Protection Agency in the US, affirmed a de-facto maize ethanol mandate of 15 billion gallons and expanded the requirement for advanced biofuels by 500 million gallons in 2019.
  • On 13 November, the European Parliament confirmed the bloc’s plan to phase-out, by 2030, the consumption of crop-based biofuels that bring about strong indirect land use changes.  

Logistics/Infrastructure/Trade Junctures 

  • On 21 November, Ukraine national railway operator (Ukrzalyznytsya) imposed temporary restrictions, lasting from 20 to 22/23 November, on grain shipments to the Black Sea ports of Odessa and Mykolaiv.
  • The naval incident through the Kerch Strait on November 24, involving the Russian Federation and Ukraine, set out a shipping standoff between the two countries. While Kerch Strait is an important waterway connecting the Sea of Azov with the Black Sea, the overall impact on grain shipments in the event of further escalation remained limited. Only a small portion (less than 6 percent) of grain exports from Ukraine rely on Azov Sea, whereas exports from the Russian Federation, which relies more significantly on the Strait, is unlikely to be disrupted.

Press Stop 

  • On 26 October, Mexico announced the introduction of guaranteed minimum prices for certain crops. Effective from 1 December, minimum paddy (rice) prices would be set at MXN 6 120 (USD 303) per tonne for purchases up to 120 tonnes and from milling wheat, at MXN 5 790 (USD 286) per tonne, with a purchase limit of 100 tonnes. Starting from 1 January 2019, guaranteed maize price would be set at MXN 5 610 (USD 277) per tonne, with a limit of 20 tonnes for each purchase.