Ethanol fell to the lowest level in more than a week in Chicago after an employment report sparked concern that fuel demand will slow.
Futures sank 1 percent following the April 6 Labor Department report that the U.S. created 120,000 jobs in March, below the median forecast of 205,000 in a Bloomberg News survey. Ethanol is mixed with gasoline as part of the nation’s plans to reduce dependence on crude oil.
“The jobs number was worse than they thought,” said Dan Flynn, a trader at PFGBest in Chicago. “That pretty much made it a red sea. The energy sector as a whole was getting hit.”
Denatured ethanol for May delivery declined 2.2 cents to settle at $2.262 a gallon on the Chicago Board of Trade, the lowest price since March 29. The fuel alternative has gained 2.7 percent this year.
In cash market trading, ethanol in the U.S. Gulf dropped 3 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $2.28 a gallon and in Chicago the biofuel slid 2.5 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $2.22, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Ethanol in New York declined 2.5 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $2.305 a gallon and on the West Coast the additive slipped 0.5 cent to $2.385.
Gasoline for May delivery tumbled 4.38 cents, or 1.3 percent, to settle at $3.2967 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract includes reformulated gasoline, which is made to be blended with ethanol before delivery to filling stations.
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