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RINs rebound as market shrugs off report of EPA delay

New York — Renewable Identification Numbers traded sharply higher July 7 as traders moved past a report that the US Environmental Protection Agency would delay an expected announcement.

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"I think the market is just going back to pre-EPA announcement levels," said one source. "That turned out to not even be an announcement."

Current-year D6 RINs traded as high as 47.50 cents/RIN July 7, up from an S&P Global Platts assessment of 46 cents/RIN on July 6 and at a three-week high.

Reuters reported July 2 that the EPA would indefinitely delay releasing proposed 2021 biofuel blending mandates, which immediately sent RINs lower.

The EPA did not respond to requests for comment.

There is not a firm deadline for the agency to release a proposal for the next year's mandates, though a deadline for the finalized mandates typically prompts the EPA to release its proposal by the end of June.

Though they've expected some announcement on the proposal, market participants were unsurprised by the delay.

"It is kind of crap as they never really meet deadlines anyways," said another source on July 2. "Or have missed them in the past...so nothing really new there."

Though market participants do not have the proposed mandates, refiners still need to cover their current obligations and projected needs for 2021. Refiner buying was the main source of support, according to sources.

The market continues to await direction from the EPA on how the agency will respond to 52 retroactive petitions for small refinery exemptions, going as far back as 2011.

Without certainty on if the petitions will be granted refiners appeared to favor covering potential obligations, bolstering RIN prices.

"Refiners just buy buy buy," said a third source.