Global News Summary
WEDNESDAY EDITION July 28, 2010 Volume 6 Issue 78 Global BP REPORTE...
WEDNESDAY EDITION July 21, 2010 Volume 6 Issue 75 Global GOLDMAN SA...
FRIDAY EDITION July 16, 2010 Volume 6 Issue 73 North America DEMOCR...
WEDNESDAY EDITION July 14, 2010 Volume 6 Issue 72 Global OILEASES B...
North America MASSACHUSETTS SUSPENDS BIODIESEL MANDATE Massachusetts has s...
WEDNESDAY EDITION June 23, 2010 Volume 6 Issue 66 Global OIL FALLS ...
North America NO CLEAR ANSWERS ON ENERGY LEGISLATION YET Senate Majority L...
North America BP ATTEMPTS AGAIN TO SHUT GULF OIL WELL BP’s planned attempt ...
North America ASA: SOY BIODIESEL CAN FULFILL RFS WITHOUT NEGATIVE IMPACTS...
North America EPA TO BEGIN ANALYSIS OF PROPOSED CLIMATE BILL The US EPA wil...
Citigroup says that despite higher Malaysian palm oil production and record stocks in the country, fundamentals for vegetable oils continue to stay tight. Supply of oilseeds is not expected to increase sufficiently through 2009 to change the balance between supply and demand.
Credit Suisse has raised its forecast of average palm oil prices this year from $885 to $1140 per mt, but expects the 2010 average to dip to $950. The bank warns of great volatility in prices over the next few months due to competition with other crops that could limit oilseed planting area. Adjusted for inflation, palm oil prices are similar to those in the last market peak in 1998, but the fundamentals are stronger than 10 years ago.
Unable to reach agreement with the White House on a new farm bill, the US Congress voted to extend the 2002 farm bill for a second time, until April 18, 2008. The one-month extension is intended to provide time for all parties to agree on issues of legislative scope and funding sources. The proposed 2008 farm bill is said to be $10 billion above baseline spending, with the White House ready to accept this increased spending only if it can be funded without any new taxes. The 2002 farm bill provided important financial support for the biofuels industry. It is unclear what supports will be in the new version.
The Association of Oil Pipe Lines spent $248,000 to lobby the federal government on legislation dealing with pipeline security, biofuels transportation and tax issues. The trade group, whose members include Valero Energy Corp., units of Exxon Mobil Corp., and ConocoPhillips, is studying whether gasoline blends containing ethanol can be transported safely in existing pipelines.
Citing high corn prices and a tight money supply, Chenoa, Illinois Mayor Walt Hetman announced Wednesday that developers of a $180 million ethanol plant have decided not to renew their option to buy. The plant was to be the first of six US Ethanol planned to develop over the next few years.
New Jersey-based O2Diesel Corp. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, O2Diesel Europe, has signed an agreement with South Dakota-based KL Process Design Group (KL) to bring KL's cellulosic ethanol production technology to Europe, India and Russia. KL announced the start up of its cellulosic ethanol plant in August 2007.
Raven Biofuels International Corporation and Pure Energy Corporation, both of Paramus, NJ, have announced their intention to merge. The new company intends to construct cellulosic ethanol plants worldwide.
Argentina has raised the flat-rate export duty on biodiesel from 5% to 20% and instituted a sliding-scale export taxe for soy and sunseed oils and meals. Soyoil and soymeal exports will be taxed at 4% and 3% respectively below the new variable rate for soybeans—which will move according to global prices. Argentina exported 320,000 mt of biodiesel in 2007.
At the World Biofuels Markets Conference in Brussels, the EU Farm Commissioner said biofuels were not a magic wand but a valuable policy tool in the fight against climate change, and that no dramatic EU policy reversals lay ahead.
Diester Industrie says its 250,000 mt per year biodiesel plant in Bassens, in southwest France, began production on January 20, 2008, using colza and sunflower oils as feedstock. Diester has a second 250,000 mt biodiesel plant in Montoir-de-Bretagne.
Russia's Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov said the country will develop 30 ethanol plants, perhaps using wood waste as feedstock. The Prime Minister estimated production capacity at 600 million gallons per year.
ASIA / PACIFIC
Malaysia's biodiesel exports to the European Union almost doubled last year, from 12,598 mt in 2006 to 24,696 in 2007, according to Malaysian government data.
Thai agricultural company Charoen Pokphand Group says it will invest $15 million over the next three years on crude palm oil and biodiesel production. The company, which entered the palm oil business this year, will use 512 hectares of land in southern and central Thailand to plant palm oil seeds, and plans to build three new biodiesel production plants to process the feedstock.
Japan’s Mizuho Capital Co., a venture capital firm affiliated with Mizuho Financial Group Inc., has set up a venture investment fund of $220 million--the largest ever for a Japanese banking group. Mizuho Capital says the funds will be invested in Japanese companies with high growth potential, including firms doing businesses related to biofuels, environmental issues, nanotechnology and information technology.
Bahrain-based Al Salam Bank-Bahrain, in a joint venture with six other partners, plans to build a 100,000 mt biodiesel plant in Hong Kong, using cooking oil, animal fat and waste grease as feedstock.
Government officials in Zimbabwe say a biodiesel plant set up as a joint venture with a South Korean company has produced 100,000 mt. The biodiesel plant has the capacity to produce 25 million mt per year, making it the largest of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa. At full capacity, the plant can meet 10% of the country's annual diesel fuel needs.
Seven companies that plan to supply New Zealand with biodiesel or ethanol have formed the New Zealand Biofuel Manufacturers Association. Spokesman Dickon Posnett said there are three main risks to the sector: imports of biodiesel; product quality; and the varying domestic incentives for ethanol and biodiesel. “Without a level playing field being built into the proposed legislation to address these issues, there is little chance of a sustainable, renewable fuels sector being established here,” he said.
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