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Calif. carbon allowance prices edge higher before quarterly auction

California carbon allowance prices at the over-the-counter market were slightly higher during the week ended Aug. 8 in front of the Western Climate Initiative's upcoming quarterly auction.

As of Aug. 7, the August 2018 vintage 2018 California carbon contract was pegged in a bid-and-ask range of $15.09/tonne to $15.17/tonne, up 2 cents from the end of July. The benchmark December 2018 vintage 2018 California carbon contract was seen in a bid-and-offer spread of $15.29/tonne to $15.32/tonne, rising 4 cents from July 25 assessments.

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Secondary market values for California carbon allowances were up a touch amid increased buying interest ahead of the auction Aug. 14 that will offer more than 79 million current vintage allowances and more than 9.4 million future vintage allowances for sale.

In the previous auction, held in May, 100% of the more than 90.5 million current vintage allowances sold at $14.65/tonne, up 4 cents from the prior auction in February.

The California and Quebec cap-and-trade programs were joined under the WCI at the start of 2014, with their first collective auction taking place in November 2014.

Ontario became the third member of the initiative Jan. 1, allowing the three governments to hold combined auctions under the program. However, newly elected Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in June that he intended to end the province's participation in the WCI, saying the government would create rules for a structured exit from the program.

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