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US RIN prices jump in early trading; 2017 D6s top $1/RIN

Houston — US Renewable Identification Numbers jumped in early trading Wednesday, with D6 ethanol RINs for 2017 compliance trading at $1/RIN for the first time in nearly 11 months.

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RIN prices rose across the board Wednesday morning. D4 biodiesel RINs for 2017 compliance traded as high as $1.09/RIN in early trading, before falling slightly. S&P Global Platts assessed D4 2017 RINs at $1.0425/RIN on Tuesday.

Ethanol RINs for 2017 were assessed at 94.5 cents/RIN Tuesday, but began trading at 98 cents and rose steadily. The last time 2017 ethanol RINs traded at $1 or higher was December 7, 2016.

A source attributed the increase in prices to several factors, including new tariffs on imported biodiesel, the recent announcement that the US Environmental Protection Agency will not alter the Renewable Fuel Standard and a lack of sellers in the market.

Volatility has been the only constant for the RIN market for the last year, as uncertainty about how the Trump administration would handle the US' renewable fuel policy led to wild swings in prices.

Trump's selection of fossil fuel supporter Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA and the announcement of RFS critic Carl Icahn in late 2016 as an adviser on regulatory reform sent RIN prices plummeting. On the other hand, when it emerged the agency would not change the RFS, prices began to rise.

D6 RINs for 2017 reached their nadir on March 2, when Platts assessed them at 33.75 cents/RIN. The same RINs were assessed at $1.0650/RIN on December 6, 2016, the highest level in the last 12 months.

D4 RINs for 2017 were assessed at 83.5 cents/RIN on March 2, the lowest level in 12 months, and reached their highest level on December 1, 2016, when Platts assessed them at $1.25/RIN.

--Wes Swift, wesley.swift@spglobal.com
--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, keiron.greenhalgh@spglobal.com