Ethanol switch raises prices

05/01/2006
Crude futures prices shot up 19% from early March through late April, with the June contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes closing at a record $75.17/bbl on Apr. 21, up by $1.48 for the day after trading at $72.73-75.35/bbl during that session on the New York Mercantile Exchange.However, US gasoline retail prices escalated by some 30% during the same 2-month period. That contributed to the rally of crude prices as traders feared supply disruptions from refiners’ switching from methyl tertiary butyl ether to ethanol as a gasoline oxygenate and octane booster.“A few of the bigger concerns include: Is there enough ethanol production to meet the new standards? Is there enou...
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