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Event Calendar

World Biofuels Symposium
November 13-15, 2005
Beijing, China

2nd Annual Canadian Renewable Fuels Summit
December 13-15, 2005
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Hosted by:
Candadian Renewable Fuels Association

National Biodiesel Conference & Expo 2006
February 5-8, 200
San Diego, California
National Biodiesel Board

11th Annual National Ethanol Conference: "Policy & Marketing"
February 20-22, 200
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Sponsored by:
Renewable Fuels Association

22nd Annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo
June 20-23, 200
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

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Posted on  

June 10, 2003

Ethanol soars on refinery demand

By Joe Carroll, Bloomberg News

U.S. ethanol prices soared 7.9 percent, the steepest gain in 19 months, as refiners increase use of the gasoline additive to build fuel supplies for summer.
Midwest refiners produced gasoline last month at the fastest pace in at least nine years, U.S. Energy Department figures showed. Ethanol is added to fuel to curb tailpipe exhaust. Distillers cut output in recent weeks as plants were closed for seasonal maintenance, analysts said.

"There has been some tightness in supplies at the same time that demand seems to be improving," said Terry Ruse, president of Projects Plus LLC, a Tulsa, Okla.-based ethanol brokerage.

Ethanol from terminals in Des Moines, Iowa, rose 9 cents to $1.225 a gallon, the biggest one-day increase since October 2001, according to Bloomberg data. Prices were up 14 percent from a year earlier, reaching a 16-month high of $1.4308 on Feb. 25.

Midwest refiners made an average 2.053 million barrels of gasoline a day in May, the highest since at least 1994 and 6.3 percent more than the five-year average, according to the Energy Department.

Refiners and fuel wholesalers in the central U.S. use ethanol instead of other gasoline components because of their proximity to the ethanol mills and grain fields of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and other Corn Belt states, analysts said.

Demand for the component, which is a form of alcohol made from grain or sugar, has also increased in response to rising Midwest fuel prices, traders said.

The federal government gives refiners a 52-cent tax break for every gallon of ethanol added to fuel. Those payments can make it cheaper to stretch existing gasoline supplies with ethanol instead of refining more crude oil, analysts said.

As long as the margin between ethanol and wholesale gasoline is less than 52 cents, ethanol is a profitable way to augment fuel supplies, analysts said.

The margin averaged 10.16 cents last week, compared with 17.205 cents the previous week and 28.99 cents a year earlier, according to Bloomberg data. Chicago wholesale fuel prices rose 3 percent to 96.9 cents a gallon at 11:06 a.m. local time, according to Bloomberg data.



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