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PRIMA California LCFS index steady as replacement economics gyrate

PRIMA’s California LCFS Index closed at $76 on Thursday, marginally firmer than Wednesday’s session, as bids gained $1 at the margin to hit $75 against offers steady at $77-78. Trade was last heard concluded on Tuesday at $75. Replacement fuel prospects into California’s low-CI demand pool meanwhile are shifting rapidly following Petrobras’ Brazilian refinery gasoline price hike on Tuesday which instantly sent offers for sugar cane ethanol spiraling higher in anticipation of even higher builds in domestic hydrous ethanol consumption, battering arbitrage economics into the US. Renewable diesel instead came back into the spotlight Thursday as Propel Fuels, California’s largest low-carbon fuel retailer, reported the further rollout of renewable diesel at pumps in Hayward CA. The Neste-manufactured fuel, made from a mix of waste fats, residues and vegetable oils, is retailing at $2.96/gal, Propel told PRIMA Thursday. Neste has been the sole exporter of renewable diesel to the US this year with exports through July sitting at 68mn gal. July’s imports alone surged nearly 55% MoM to hit 22.5mn gal. California UCOME biodiesel prices closed Thursday at $2.70/gal, down 8% from the beginning of September. 13% gains in the LCFS price over the past month however have helped offset the drop in flat price for low-CI waste biofuel producers.

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