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March 12, 2013
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The News Source for the Ethanol Industry

  Top Story 
  • Debate over "blend wall" continues
    With gasoline prices up across the country, the oil industry is pointing to the "blend wall" and the sharp increase in Renewable Identification Number prices as the cause, writes the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal. The federal government is forcing refiners to buy more ethanol than needed because of lack of foresight, the board writes. "[T]he E10 'blend wall' was erected by the oil companies themselves, and it is little more than a convenient excuse for their refusal to move to higher-level ethanol blends," said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen. The Wall Street Journal (3/11), Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Update 
  • CBOT corn, NYMEX oil, ethanol futures advance
    March corn settled at $7.345 per bushel Monday, up 9.25 cents, on the Chicago Board of Trade. April light sweet crude rose 11 cents to end at $92.06 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. April denatured ethanol gained 3.2 cents to close at $2.544 per gallon on the CBOT. Bloomberg Businessweek (3/11), MarketWatch (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • RFA's Cooper: Refiners choose not to blend ethanol
    The rise in gasoline prices is being caused by refiners' reluctance to blend ethanol into their product, not because of a federally mandated "blend wall" as they claim, said Geoff Cooper, vice president of research and analysis at the Renewable Fuels Association. Refiners are choosing to buy Renewable Identification Numbers, rather than buy and blend ethanol, he said. "Ethanol is not the refiners' product, and that's why they're fighting and going to great lengths on Capitol Hill to keep this product from the marketplace," Cooper said. Fox Business (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • EIA: Ethanol plants gain from corn oil extraction
    Corn oil production provides an important revenue source for ethanol plants with tight margins, according to a report from the Energy Information Administration. "Ethanol plants with corn oil recovery units are able to earn more revenue, so they usually have higher profit margins than plants without corn oil recovery, even if their production costs are slightly higher," the report said. Other strategies ethanol producers are using to improve their bottom lines include switching from corn to sorghum and replacing natural gas with biomass, the EIA said. (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Corn prices may drop to $5 per bushel by year's end, researcher says
    Corn prices may fall to about $5 per bushel by the end of 2013 as fears over tightening stocks ease up, according to a research note from Capital Economics. "High prices over the last year have encouraged farmers to plant significantly more acres with grains," which should result to a big rise in global supply in the 2013-2014 crop year, weather permitting, said Tom Pugh, a commodities economist at Capital Economics. MarketWatch/The Tell blog (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Chinese firms order more corn from the U.S., traders say
    Since February, animal feed suppliers in China have placed orders for about 600,000 metric tons of new U.S. corn, traders said. Bigger buyers, such as China's state-owned Cofco, are waiting for U.S. corn prices to fall further before ordering, while state grain-reserves manager Sinograin may also buy from the U.S. once it completes its domestic restocking at the end of April, traders said. China's biggest supplier of animal feed, New Hope Group, has urged the government to relax grain import restrictions amid soaring domestic demand for meat products. Reuters (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
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  Technology & Trends 
  • Algenol reports higher yield in algae-to-ethanol process
    Algenol Biofuels' algae-to-ethanol facility in Lee County, Fla., has achieved continuous output at 9,000 gallons per acre per year, above the firm's original target of 6,000. "I fully expect our talented scientific team to achieve sustained production rates above 10,000 by the end of this year," chief executive Paul Woods said. (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Mont. camelina production may get boost from RFS pathway
    The Environmental Protection Agency's approval of a pathway for camelina-based biofuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard could provide a boost for farmers in Montana to grow the plant. Despite being touted as a potential biofuel feedstock, camelina in Montana has dwindled from 22,500 acres planted in 2007 to 2,500 acres in 2011 amid limited insurance availability and higher revenue from conventional crops, observers said. Billings Gazette (Mont.) (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Policy Watch 
  • Biofuel tax credit bill in Ark. gets bipartisan backing
    A bipartisan group of Arkansas lawmakers is backing a bill that would give biofuel producers in the state a tax credit worth 10 cents per gallon. The bill, which was filed by state Sen. David Wyatt and Rep. James McLean, is intended to boost the competitiveness of Arkansas-based biofuel producers. The bill would be a "prudent investment in job growth in the Arkansas Delta, which is home to all Arkansas alternative fuel producers and where the unemployment rate is routinely more than a full percentage higher than the state average," the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association stated. The City Wire (Fort Smith, Ark.) (3/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Global Agenda 
  • Report: U.K. should reconsider use of crop-based biofuels
    The U.K. should increase its reliance on non-crop-based biofuels such as biodiesel derived from waste cooking oil, according to a report from think tank Chatham House. "Our research shows that biofuels derived from agricultural crops offer poor value for money as a means to reduce emissions and can have serious consequences for food prices," said Rob Bailey, a senior research fellow at Chatham House. Reuters (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
We are all worms. But I do believe that I am a glow-worm."
--Winston Churchill,
British prime minister

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