Posts Tagged ‘ethanol’

“Maddening” US ethanol prices mimic RINs volatility

US ethanol prices in 2014 have become what RINs were in 2013 — volatile and downright wacky.

In the opening three months of 2013, biofuels RINs went from the nerdy kid in freshman biology to a menacing and eccentric upper-classman that scared all the other kids in the cafeteria. The previously lesser-known renewable credits generated by physical gallons of biofuels became a household name of infamy as finger-pointing linked them to rising prices at the pump.

And if there’s one thing an array of industries, commodities, and political dealings have learned over the years, you don’t mess with prices at the pump.

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A different perspective on getting through the ethanol blendwall

Anna Temple of WoodMac tried at the annual AFPM meeting to put one aspect of the ethanol issue into a highly consumable number: eight.

The Houston-based downstream consultant, in one part of her presentation, said the Renewable Fuel Standard going forward could still trip up refiners, but she also addressed whether E85 has a part to play in meeting the ever-rising mandates set under RFS2.

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Upping the Ante: US ethanol’s leadership sets out its stall after 2013′s setbacks

That the CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association would come out fighting after the 2013 annus horribilis was to be expected. When Bob Dinneen, a man they’ve come to call the Reverend in these parts because of his full throttle evangelisin’ on the blendstock’s position in the USA, took the stage to deliver the keynote opening address to the 2014 National Ethanol Conference last week, the packed auditorium knew broadly what to expect.

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Baby it’s cold inside…thanks to…

The recent polar vortices sweeping down from Canada have frozen much of the US to its core over the past month, driving home heating costs through the (drafty) roof, across the Midwest, Northeast and now the Southeast.

But the bugbear behind the dangerously tight natural gas market may come as a surprise to many. Sure, we’re exporting more NGLs and the frigid temperatures are eating away at stocks. That is free markets and good old fashioned supply and demand fundamentals at work, right?

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Regulation & Environment: EPA action on 2014 renewable fuel standard didn’t end the process

When the Environmental Protection Agency released modification in the 2014 application of the renewable fuel standard, it was only the start of the process. The lobbying still goes on, as Herman Wang discusses in this week’s Oilgram News column, Regulation & Environment.

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It isn’t only corn: Brazilian sugar cane ethanol worries about changes in RFS

Much of the rhetoric surrounding the US Renewable Fuel Standard centers around the notion of home-grown fuels enhancing American energy security and independence.

That puts Leticia Phillips in a bit of a delicate situation, as she advocates for Brazilian sugar cane ethanol’s place in the US renewable fuel mix.

Phillips is the North American representative for UNICA, the Brazilian sugar cane industry association. And though lawmakers and the Obama administration have played up their support for domestically produced biofuels, Phillips said Brazilian ethanol has an ace up its sleeve: its lower life-cycle emissions, when compared to US corn-derived ethanol.

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A new showdown over renewable fuels: Big Ethanol vs. Big Cars

This is how the whole concept of a “war room” works in Washington.

The AAA — that’s now the formal name, but it used to be the American Automobile Association — sent out a press release today that landed in my mailbox at 12:05 pm Eastern time. The release said that the Environmental Protection Agency should reduce the 2014 renewable fuels mandate, which it has signaled it will do, because of concerns that the 10% blend wall would be hit, creating “a possible surge in gas prices or the increased use of potentially damaging E15 gasoline.”

The time of the response by the Renewable Fuels Association: 12:24 pm, just 19 minutes later. That’s what a “war room” does.

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When it comes to the ethanol mandate, throw out the usual Washington left-right divide

The complicated politics of the Renewable Fuel Standard were on full display Wednesday, as an Iowa Republican — a member of a party generally favorable to the oil industry — vehemently defended the biofuels blending mandate, while a Vermont Democrat — from a party traditionally aligned with alternative fuels advocates — bashed it.

The differing opinions, presented at a forum hosted by National Journal in Washington, illustrate how tricky it could be to reform the law, which the oil industry has long sought to eliminate.

The issue does not neatly fall along political lines, but rather geographical.

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Looming EU vote draws first battle lines in renewed biofuel debate

Since the European Commission first proposed a number of changes to the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED) last October, both sides of the biofuel debate in Europe have battled their corners ahead of what are likely to be key changes to legislation for the regional and indeed global biofuel landscapes, up to the year 2020 and beyond.

A plenary vote, scheduled for September 11, will see the European Parliament agree on its position on several key components of renewables laws, before heading into three-way negotiations with the Council of Ministers and the EC.

Ahead of the vote, industry bodies, non-governmental organizations and other interested parties have pushed hard to air their points of view on a subject that has wide-reaching economic, environmental and social implications.

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The sugar consumption conundrum

There has been much discussion recently regarding what appears to be a surge in sugar consumption in Asia, particularly in China and Indonesia, accompanied by a corresponding surge in raw imports.

Compared to earlier this year, analysts have marked up their estimates for combined Chinese and Indonesian raw sugar imports by as much 1.5 million-2.0 million mt, and even that may not be enough. Sugar statisticians consider 2-3% as a normal annual rate of growth in sugar consumption; this compares to Chinese mills sales that are so far this crop year up 29% year-on- year. Has consumption growth really gone off the scale or is something else going on here?

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