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RINs tumble after US EPA says weighing 2018 biofuels blending mandate cut

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RINs tumble after US EPA says weighing 2018 biofuels blending mandate cut

Houston — The prices of Renewable Identification Numbers plummeted Wednesday, a day after the US Environmental Protection Agency said it was considering reducing some of the 2018 blending mandates for biofuels.

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D4 biodiesel RINs for 2017 traded in the early morning as low as 87 cents/RIN, a day after S&P Global Platts assessed them at 99.25 cents/RIN. D6 ethanol RINs for 2017 traded as low as 75 cents/RIN, a day after being assessed at 83.50 cents/RIN.

"They're dropping fast," a source said.

In its announcement, the EPA said it would consider cutting up to 15% of the advanced biofuel and biomass-based diesel blending mandates for next year. The agency said high biodiesel prices may make the cuts necessary.

The EPA issues RINs to track renewable fuel usage throughout the supply chain. Refiners, importers and blenders -- called obligated parties -- use them to show the EPA that they have fulfilled their mandated government use of renewable fuels. If the obligated party has not used enough physical product, it can buy RINs to satisfy the quota.

Under the current mandates, biodiesel blending was set at 2.1 billion gallons for 2018. The advanced biofuels mandate calls for 4.24 billion gallons.

Under the Renewable Fuel Standard, the advanced biofuels mandate includes the biodiesel mandated, since the latter is considered an advanced biofuel.

--Wes Swift, wesley.swift@spglobal.com

--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, keiron.greenhalgh@spglobal.com