US RIN prices fall amid aggressive selloff from one refiner: sources

Houston (Platts)--22Aug2013/522 pm EDT/2122 GMT


US RIN prices fell again Thursday amid an aggressive selloff from one obligated refiner, multiple sources said.

No broker or trader sources could confirm the identity of the party, but at least three brokers and two traders said there were market talks of heavy selling from one obligated party.

"They're just unloading right now," one broker said. "Everyone's scrambling to figure out why." Corn-based ethanol (D6) RINs for 2013 were assessed 2.5 cents lower at $0.74/RIN, current-year advanced biofuel (D5) RINs shed 2 cents at $0.8150/RIN, and current-year biomass-based diesel (D4) RINs fell 3 cents to $0.86/RIN.

Current-year RIN assessments fell for the third straight session following the Platts record six-session ascent that ended Monday.

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Ethanol RINs for 2013 were reported traded more than a dozen times, mostly at descending levels beginning at $0.76/RIN and falling to $0.73/RIN before they were last reported traded at $0.74/RIN.

Biodiesel RINs for 2013 were reported traded at $0.86/RIN.

RIN prices soared more than 40 cents in a matter of a week in mid-July, largely on two obligated refiners aggressively buying RINs. Strong buying or selling can have a particularly heavy impact on prices in what multiple sources have called an "irrational market."

Current-year ethanol RIN prices have slumped 16 cents in the aftermath of the US Environmental Protection Agency's August 6 announcement of a four-month extension for meeting the 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard-2 blending requirements.

RIN prices soared for much of 2013 on aggressive buying ahead of the impending "blend wall." The term describes when the maximum amount of the US gasoline pool has been blended with 10% ethanol. Refiners will then be under pressure to run higher ethanol blends or buy RINs, unless Congress alters the RFS.

The EPA issues a RIN 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.

--Jordan Godwin, jordan.godwin@platts.com
--Edited by Jason Lindquist, jason.lindquist@platts.com

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