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2015 ethanol RINs prices rise to three-month high after EPA announcement

Houston — Corn-based (D6) ethanol RINs for 2015 firmed up to their highest level in more than three months Tuesday as the market continued to show a revival of aggressive bid interest, sources said.

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Ethanol RINs for 2015 were assessed 2.75 cents higher at 72.75 cents/RIN, the highest level since they were at 74.5 cents/RIN on January 12. The assessment has climbed 4 cents in the two trading sessions since the US Environmental Protection Agency rolled out its plan to propose the 2015 Renewable Fuel Standard by June 1 and finalize the 2014 and 2015 rules by November 30.

Market participants said the strong bids were driven by obligated parties growing increasingly concerned about the possibility of a more stern RFS, alongside a push for 2014 vintage RINs.

"Some guys are panicking a little bit," one RINs broker said. "We're seeing some blenders who shelved e14 buying for months until now. They're back."

Ethanol RINs for 2014 were assessed at 73.5 cents/RIN, a cent higher than Monday and 2.5 cents higher than Thursday's assessment prior to the EPA announcement.

The announcement was part of a settlement with oil industry groups American Petroleum Institute and American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, who had jointly sued the agency last month for its failure to issue the 2014 and 2015 RFS rules on time.

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA was obligated to promulgate the 2014 RFS by November 30, 2013, and the 2015 rule by November 30, 2014.

The EPA issues a RIN to track renewable fuel usage throughout the supply chain.

Refiners and importers -- called "obligated parties" -- use them to show the EPA that they have fulfilled their government-mandated use of renewable fuels. If the obligated party has not used enough physical product, it can buy RINs to satisfy the quota.

--Jordan Godwin,
--Wes Swift,
--Edited by Derek Sands,