EPA Expands Heating Oil Definition to Allow RINs
Posted on September 25, 2013 by John Davis
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expanding the definition of heating oil as part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. This means that renewable heating oil, such as bioheat, a mixture of biodiesel and heating oil, could fall under the category to allow for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).
The expanded definition of heating oil will encourage the growth of renewable fuel production in the heating oil market by adding value to renewable fuel oils through the generation of RINs. In particular, the expanded definition could spur the production of advanced or cellulosic biouel, providing additional opportunities for regulated parties to meet their annual RFS volume obligations.
EPA is also finalizing specific registration, reporting, product transfer document, and recordkeeping requirements applicable specifically to the new category of fuel oils, which are necessary to demonstrate that the fuel oil was or will be used to heat buildings for climate control for human comfort in order to generate RINs.
mcadams2The news was welcomed by Michael McAdams, president of the Advanced Biofuels Association:
“The Advanced Biofuels Association applauds EPA for expanding the definition of heating oil to include renewable fuel oil used to warm buildings or other facilities where people live, work or recreate. This newly expanded definition will help sustain growing renewable fuel production, particularly of advanced or cellulosic biofuels, in the heating oil market.”
ISU study: Investment in E85 could be cheaper than purchasing ethanol credits
Sep. 23, 2013
A study from Iowa State University said the cost of installing tanks to handle fuel with 85 percent ethanol could be cheaper than purchasing energy credits to avoid blending the fuel mostly made from corn.
Iowa State professor Bruce Babcock said ethanol demand would increase by between 800 million and 1 billion gallons per year for every 2,500 stations with E85 fueling capabilities. His study estimated that it could cost those stations about $87.5 million if new tanks do not need to be installed and at least $325 million if they do.
Congress created Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN), a special serial number given to batches of biofuels before they are sold to refiners and gasoline importers looking to comply with a federal mandate to use a certain amount of ethanol. In exchange for not blending ethanol, the refiner can choose to purchase RINs. Iowa is the nation’s largest ethanol producer.
“With the price of the tradable ethanol credits trading between 60 cents and 70 cents per gallon, and with at least 14 billion credits needed under current mandates, it seems that the reduction in compliance costs could be greater than the costs of investing in E85 infrastructure, which would create an incentive for investment,” Babcock said in the report.
“Oil companies might find it more efficient to make the investment themselves if the required price of ethanol credits rises too high for too long,” he added.
The study estimated that if the Environmental Protection Agency sets 2014 ethanol blending mandates at 13.9 billion gallons, then investment in 2,500 E85 stations would reduce oil company compliance costs from $2.84 billion to $1.09 billion.
The Renewable Fuel Standard, created in 2005 and expanded two years later by Congress, requires refiners to buy alternative fuels made from corn, soybeans and other products in order to reduce the country’s depen
Ethanol Gains Against Gasoline as Inventories Decline
By Mario Parker - Sep 25, 2013 10:16 AM MT
Ethanol advanced, narrowing its discount to gasoline, after a government report showed inventories near the lowest level this year.
The spread tightened 0.23 cent to 82.89 cents a gallon at 11:33 a.m. New York time after the Energy Information Administration said ethanol inventories fell 3.5 percent to 15.6 million barrels last week, the smallest since June 28, when they were at a record low.
“Stocks are down near the lows of this year and production’s down,” said Will Babler, a broker at Atten Babler Risk Management LLC in Galena, Illinois. “We’re working through a tight market.”
Denatured ethanol for October delivery added 4.3 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $1.871 a gallon on the Chicago Board of Trade. Futures have declined 15 percent this year.
Gasoline for October delivery gained 4.07 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $2.6999 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract covers reformulated gasoline, made to be blended with ethanol before delivery to filling stations.
Ethanol production fell 0.7 percent to 832,000 barrels a day last week, a three-week low, data from the Energy Department’s statistical arm show.
Imports jumped to 48,000 barrels a day from 3,000 the previous week. That’s the most since Aug. 2.
Babler said most ethanol plants are relying on corn from last year’s harvest until the new supplies arrive. One bushel of the grain makes at least 2.75 gallons of the biofuel.
Corn for December delivery rose 4.75 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $4.535 a bushel in Chicago. The December crush spread of corn to ethanol was minus 2 cents, versus minus 3 cents yesterday. All crush spreads through July 2016 were negative.
In cash market trading, ethanol climbed 9 cents to $2.29 a a gallon in New York, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The price sank 15 cents to $2.225 in Chicago, 1 cent to $2.315 on the Gulf Coast and 1.5 cents to $2.26 on the
Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending September 20, 2013
U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged about 15.6 million barrels per day during the week ending September 20, 2013, roughly 500 thousand barrels per day lower than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 90.3 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production fell from the previous week, averaging 9.0 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production dropped last week to about 4.8 million barrels per day.
U.S. crude oil imports averaged about 7.9 million barrels per day last week, up by 346 thousand barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports averaged over 7.9 million barrels per day. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 460 thousand barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 137 thousand barrels per day last week.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) increased by 2.6 million barrels from the previous week. At 358.3 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are toward the upper range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 0.2 million barrels last week and are in the upper half of the average range. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 0.2 million barrels last week and remain near the lower limit of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories increased by 1.0 million barrels last week and are in the middle of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 1.5 million barrels last week.
Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 19.1 million barrels per day, up by 3.8 percent from the same period last year. Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied averaged about 8.9 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel product supplied averaged 3.7 million barrels per
Cost Of Solar Set To Plummet With New 44.7% Efficiency Record
US utility chooses wind and solar – ‘cheaper and more reliable’
By Giles Parkinson on 17 September 2013
Well, there goes the myth that cheap shale gas would price renewables out of the US electricity market. Xcel Energy, one of the country’s biggest utilities, has just announced a planned major expansion of its solar and wind investments – because they are “cheaper and more reliable” than natural gas.
In a filing to the public utilities commission in the state of Colorado, Xcel Energy requested permission to include 170MW of new, utility-scale solar capacity and 450MW of wind energy capacity in the state.
The reason, Xcel Energy said, was not to meet renewable energy targets (which in Colorado happen to be 30 per cent by 2020), but because these technologies were best placed to fill basic generation needs. Solar and wind, it said, were competitive with the cost of gas-fired generation.
“Based on generation needs, the most reliable and most cost-effective resources happen to be solar and wind,” Xcel Energy spokeswoman Michelle Aguayo told the online publication SRN. “We are not taking on solar because we have to, but because it is cost-effective and economical.”
A lot has been written about the shale gas boom in the US and its apparent impact on other technologies, particularly renewables such as wind and solar. But its principal victims in the short term appear to be coal-fired generation and nuclear, with neither able to compete on cost – particularly with the additional burden of emissions and/or safety regulations.
Part of Xcel Energy’s plan out to 2018 include the closure of a 108MW coal facility and the switching of another to natural gas.
Wind is now priced at less than $50/MWh in the US, and the proposed build out of wind will take Xcel’s total wind capacity to 2,650MW – nearly equivalent to Australia’s entire capacity.
In an earlier filing, Xcel Energy had wanted to install 550MW of wind capacity, but the PUC only allowed 200MW because it was not s
Ausgrid to trial 60kW battery storage system in Sydney
By Giles Parkinson on 24 September 2013
NSW network operator Ausgrid is installing a 60kW battery storage system in the Sydney suburb of Newington to see how it can help manage summer peak demand events.
The installation of the lithium-ion storage system is the biggest battery trial so far for Augrid, which operates in the eastern half of Sydney, the central coast and the Hunter region.
It is also the first battery storage installation on its side of the meter. A recently completed trial in the Hunter as part of the Smart City, Smart Grid program had 65 5kW battery storage systems in different homes in suburban Newcastle.
Ausgrid’s Paul Myors says the focus of the new trial would be to see how the battery storage functioned over the summer months, how it coped in hot ambient temperatures, and how it helped the operator cope with peak demand.
“Managing peak summer demand is our key driver as network operator. If we can knock that on the head, that’s a big saving for us,” he told RenewEconomy.
The full results of the suburban battery storage program, which used batteries from Australian developer RedFlow about the size of a small fridge, have not been released.
But Myors said the program showed that the technology was reliable and customer acceptance was good. One of the key challenges was making sure that the storage was able to dispatch for the entire peak period. “Peak lasts for a certain number of hours. You don’t want battery to run out of puff, because you will the lose benefit for the network.
Myors said there was still an “interesting” argument about batteries are best placed on the customer side of meter or the network side of the meter. The customers can get benefits if storing at low tariffs times and discharging at high tariff times, and there were benefits in using it as a back-up.
For networks, however, the deployment of battery storage on a grid side offered cost benefits. My role is ab
G20 Leaders Agree To Phase Out “Inefficient” Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Russian President Vladimir Putin at this month's G-20 summit. Image Credit: Government of Russia
Russian President Vladimir Putin at this month’s G-20 summit.
Image Credit: Government of Russia
Earlier this month, G20 leaders meeting in St Petersburg, Russia decided to phase out the use of HFCs. This got a lot of attention (at least among green media), and rightfully so. However, another big decision made in St Petersburg seems to have bypassed most radars. The G20 leaders also agreed to phase out “inefficient” fossil fuel subsidies. Such a move would cut approximately $500 billion in annual governmental expenditures while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions (compared to business-as-usual emission projections) 10% by 2050.
Environment News Service, on the day of the meeting (September 20), wrote:
All the G-20 leaders agreed to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. Building on the commitment they made at the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit in 2009 to phase out these subsides, G-20 Leaders today agreed on the methodology for a new peer-review process of fossil fuel subsidies, an important step in combating climate change.
The International Energy Agency estimates that eliminating subsidies – which amount to more than $500 billion annually – would lead to a 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below business-as-usual by 2050.
As part of the St. Petersburg Declaration released today at the close of the summit, the G-20 leaders stated, “We reaffirm our commitment to rationalise and phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption over the medium term while being conscious of necessity to provide targeted support for the poorest.”
“We welcome the development of a methodology for a voluntary peer review process and the initiation of country-owned peer reviews and we encourage broad voluntary participation in reviews as a valuable means of
France to tax nuclear, fossil fuels to boost shift to renewables
By Sophie Vorrath on 24 September 2013
France has unveiled plans to use a levy on nuclear energy, as well as a tax on carbon emissions from fossil fuels, to help finance the country’s billion-dollar “energy transition” to a power mix based on renewables and energy efficiency.
Bloomberg reports that the proposed nuclear levy would be applied to Electricite de France’s 58 atomic reactors – which produce about three-quarters of France’s total power – while the carbon tax would be introduced “progressively” on fossil fuels, to help raise €4 billion ($US5.4 billion) in 2016.
French President Francois Hollande, who vowed during his election campaign to reduce reliance on nuclear to half of total output by about 2025 while also keeping down consumers’ bills, said that the energy transition would cost an estimated €20 billion a year.
“All change is expensive in the short term even if it’s beneficial in the long term,” French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Sunday in a speech about the environment in Paris. “Our nuclear fleet will be asked to contribute,” he said, adding that the new nuclear levy should contribute to investments in green energy from 2016 onwards, and continue to do so “over the remaining lifetime of our reactors.”
Ayrault didn’t give details of how much EDF, which is 84 per cent government-owned, will have to pay. The utility is already compensated for the higher cost of electricity produced by wind turbines and solar panels it buys through a tax on power bills called the CSPE.
France is the poster-child for the nuclear industry and its supporters. However, there is no a growing realisation within government circles that replacing the nuclear capacity will be extremely expensive.
Energy efficiency measures have been virtually non-existent because demand has been kept high to cater for the needs of nuclear to keep operating. French households consume around 50 per cent more than
Q&A: Natural gas engines for cleaner fracking
Posted on 09/25/2013 by Kari Lydersen
GE’s natural-gas-fueled oil field engines are manufactured in Waukesha, Wisconsin. (Photo via GE)
In remote and rugged areas from the Great Plains to Appalachia, drilling and hydraulic fracturing is typically powered by diesel fuel rather than electricity from the grid like more established drilling operations.
But companies are increasingly using natural gas or a mixture of natural gas and diesel, meaning significantly lower emissions and lower costs for hydraulic fracturing and enhanced oil recovery – getting the last remnants of oil out of tapped-out wells.
In Pennsylvania, the switch to powering with natural gas fracked onsite has been described as a “triple threat” reducing emissions, costs and truck traffic. And earlier this year Texas-based Apache Corp. announced plans to become the country’s first fracking operation powered entirely by natural gas, projecting a 40 percent savings on fuel costs.
Last week at the High Horsepower Summit in Chicago — a conference aimed at promoting natural gas use in mining, maritime, oil and other industries — GE Power & Water touted the recent Environmental Protection Agency certification of natural gas engines from their Waukesha, Wisconsin, plant for “mobile, non-road uses” including oil and gas extraction.
GE’s Waukesha engines can operate using liquid natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG), or raw gas that is produced onsite by the drilling operations – once it has been processed to remove excess water and other impurities. The company says the engines are already in use at operations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Oklahoma.
Shonodeep Modak, global marketing manager for GE’s Waukesha and Jenbacher engines, talked with Midwest Energy News during the High Horsepower Summit.
Shonodeep Modak is a marketing manager for General Electric.
Midwest Energy News: You say the GE engines are useful for new exploration
Obamacare premium rates lower than expected VIDEO
By Tami Luhby @Luhby September 25, 2013: 8:29 AM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
The Obamacare premiums will cost less than predicted, according to data released Wednesday by the Obama administration.
The national average premium for the benchmark plan will be $328 a month before subsidies, 16% less than projected by the Congressional Budget Office.
The benchmark is the second-lowest cost "silver" policy for 48 states, upon which federal subsidies are based.
The long-awaited release of the premium rates also details for the first time what shoppers will pay on the 36 state-based exchanges that the federal government will fully or partly run. States that are operating their own exchanges have been revealing their rates over the past few months.
Consumers will be able to start enrolling in the exchanges on Oct. 1, with coverage beginning in January.
Starting in 2014, nearly everyone must have insurance -- either through their jobs, government programs or the individual market -- or face a penalty.
Americans with incomes up to 400% of poverty are eligible for federal subsidies, and what they'll actually pay on the exchanges varies widely by state, age and income.
Obamacare out-of-pocket cost confusion
Obamacare out-of-pocket cost confusion
For instance, a 27-year-old living in Dallas making $25,000 could pay as little as $74 a month for the cheapest "bronze" plan after subsidies, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
But a 60-year-old in Wyoming who makes more than $46,000 a year -- too much to get a tax credit -- could pay as much as $758 for a similar plan.
The majority of people uninsured today can find a policy for $100 or less a month, taking into account subsidies and Medicaid eligibility, the administration said.
First Published: September 25, 2013: 7:45 AM ET
Stabenow requests RIN market investigation
By Erin Voegele | September 24, 2013
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., has issued a letter to Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, requesting that the CFTC investigate allegations about possible manipulation of the markets for renewable identification numbers (RINs). Stabenow chairs the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
According to a press release issued by the Agriculture Committee, recently reports have highlighted potential speculation and manipulation of the unregulated markets, which may have contributed to recent market volatility and price spikes.
Within the letter, Stabenow said she is looking to the CFTC to use its expertise and authority to help preserve RIN market integrity, particularly with respect to the price discovery function of these markets and the ability of end users to hedge their risk and comply with the requirements of the renewable fuel standard (RFS). “Specifically, I would like the CFTC to help determine whether factors other than supply and demand have been causing extraordinary volatility in the price of RINS and to what extent fraud and manipulation have been affecting the price of RINs,” Stabenow wrote in the letter, noting that she is concerned a lack of transparency in the RIN markets has made them more susceptible to manipulation.
Stabenow also asks the CFTC to notify the Agriculture Committee as soon as possible if there are limits to its authority, expertise or resources that could inhibit it from monitoring RIN markets. In addition, she requests that the CFTC coordinate with the U.S. EPA.
Democrats see GOP shutdown threat as opening for 2014 election gains
By Zachary A. Goldfarb, Tuesday, September 24, 6:47 PM
Democrats are working hard to exploit massive unrest in the Republican Party over the looming government shutdown, which many see as one of their best chances of holding the Senate or even gaining the House in next year’s midterm elections.
White House officials and other Democrats have been content to watch in recent days as Republicans have torn into each other over strategic disputes and are in no rush to launch negotiations on how to avoid a shutdown.
Instead, they have attacked Republicans as reckless, pressuring them to decide whether to keep the government open with no strings attached — as Democrats favor — or shut it down.
The key to the Democratic strategy is a belief that a showdown is likely to play out similarly to the government shutdowns of 1995 and 1996, which turned public opinion sharply against the Republican majority.
“It wouldn’t be the worst thing for Democrats if [Republicans] tried to shut the government down,” Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of state and a potential 2016 presidential candidate, said in New York on Tuesday.
“We’ve seen that movie before, and it didn’t work out so well for those so-called obstructionists,” she added.
As a result, many Democrats welcomed Tuesday’s filibuster-style floor speech by conservative Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), who pledged to talk for as long as he could in an attempt to slow Democratic plans to advance a bill that would keep the government open while also funding President Obama’s signature health-care law. House Republicans voted to strip funding from Obamacare last week in exchange for keeping the government running.
The Cruz demonstration — which was opposed by many leading Senate Republicans and was set to end by Wednesday morning — plays into a Democratic strategy to try to ensure that the GOP is blamed for a shutdown if it occurs.
Congress must act
Live Ted Cruz settles in for long speech on Senate floor
September 24, 2013 2:30 PM EDT — Members of the Senate are set to consider a spending bill that would defund the president's health care law. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), says he is ready to stand and speak against the Affordable Care Act, "until I'm no longer able to stand." The timing of this event is subject to change. (Associated Press)
UPDATE 2-US senator asks CFTC to look into biofuel credit pricing
Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:40pm EDT
By Charles Abbott
(Reuters) - The head of the Senate Agriculture Committee asked the regulator of U.S. futures markets on Tuesday to probe whether traders manipulated the price of biofuel credits that soared over the summer and were blamed for raising gasoline prices.
In a letter to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow said she was concerned about "possible manipulation of the markets for Renewable Identification Numbers," the formal name for RINs.
Petroleum fuel blenders can buy RINs, from other refiners or from third parties who acquired RINs, to satisfy their obligations under U.S. law to use a certain amount of biofuels. A RIN is assigned to each gallon of biofuel produced.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency oversees the biofuels standard.
Prices of RINs have been high and volatile for months - soaring from a few cents each in January to almost $1.50 in July to about 50-70 cents this month - in the face of stagnant demand for gasoline and U.S. law that dictates the rising volumes of renewable fuels.
"I would like the CFTC to help determine whether factors other than supply and demand have been causing extraordinary volatility in the price of RINs and to what extent fraud and manipulation have been affecting the price of RINs," Stabenow wrote in a letter to CFTC chairman Gary Gensler.
"I am concerned that a lack of transparency in these markets has made them more susceptible to manipulation. If this is the case, it is a problem that must be identified and fixed."
The CFTC had no immediate comment.
The refiner Tesoro Corp blamed RIN volatility on the "blend wall," the limit of how many gallons of renewable fuel, mostly corn-based ethanol, can be blended into gasoline at the standard blend rate of 10 percent biofuel.
"This is like asking to investigate what the horse did after it escaped from the barn instead on focusing on
Advanced biofuels could cut GHG emissions for less than electric cars
TheGreenCarWebsite(blog)-Sep 23, 2013
Using higher blend biofuels could deliver the same transport emissions savings as a large-scale uptake of electric vehicles by 2030-but at a fraction of the cost, according to a new report.
Advanced biofuels made from such products as biomass wood chippings could help the UK cut GHG emissions for lessA new study by Element Energy, commissioned by oil company BP, suggests that blending higher levels of sustainable biofuels into road transport fuels could cut Britain’s annual CO2 emissions by 27 per cent -or 12 million tonnes (Mt) a year by the end of the next decade.
Increasing the biofuel blends to 19 per cent from a current level of around 5 per cent would increase the annual fuel bill by just £13 by 2030, compared to a cost £336m compared to the plug-in vehicles at a cost of £1.2bn.
That would mean that owner of the average car would see their annual fuel bill increase by just £13 if advanced biofuels became the sustainable fuel choice, while BEVs would come at annualised cost of £195 a year. This translates into costs of £95/tCO2 for biofuels compared to £170/tCO2 for battery-powered cars.
With combustion cars still expected to make up the majority of cars on our roads by 2030, advanced biofuels, made from cellulosic feedstocks, rather than food crops, could make bigger impact on the country’s GHG emissions.
Best of all, advanced biofuels could work alongside wider uptake of hybrids and plug-in hybrids, avoiding the issue of a technology ‘lock in’.
Element Energy Associate Director Alex Stewart said: “In the long term, electric plug–in and fuel cell vehicles are likely to play a significant role in the transport mix. But we also expect high numbers of ICE-derived vehicles to still be in circulation by 2030, so lower carbon liquid fuels have to play a major part in meeting the UK’s CO2 targets.
“Biofuels also offer a more cost effect
Diesel sees biggest drop since April, falls 2.5 cents
By James Jaillet
Published September, 24 2013
The average price in the U.S. for a gallon of on-highway diesel dropped 2.5 cents in the week ended Sept. 23, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, marking the biggest week-to-week decrease since the week ended April 29.
The national average in the most recent week was $3.949 a gallon. The week-to-week fall comes after three weeks of near stagnation in the price of diesel, when the price held steady in the week ended Sept. 9 and only dropped seven-tenths of a cent for the week ended Sept. 16.
Related: Diesel, conventional engines will remain dominant for decades
The stagnation follows a 6.7-cent week-to-week jump in the week ended Sept. 2, coming on the heels of the possibility of military intervention in the Syrian civil war .
Regionally, the average price dropped in all regions in the U.S. except the Rocky Mountain region, where the average price rose two-tenths of a cent.
The largest week-to-week drop came in the West Coast less California region, which saw a 3.7-cent decline. California has the nation’s most expensive diesel, $4.209, while the Gulf Coast region has the cheapest, with a $3.89-cent average.
The national average price is still down 14 cents from the same week in 2012.
Evening markets: 'red hot' export market lifts wheat vs corn
20:43 GMT, Tuesday, 24th Sept 2013, by Agrimoney
Wheat, which in the last session ventured a toe beyond the $2-a-bushel line in its premium over corn, got the whole foot over this time.
Sure, wheat hardly raced ahead in Chicago, adding 0.7% to $6.58 ¼ a bushel for December delivery.
But that was enough to expand its premium over December corn futures to $2.09 ½ a bushel.
It earned Chicago wheat another technical feat too, with the December lot closing above its 50-day moving average for the first time in more than three months.
Furthermore, the represented outperformance of commodities as a whole, with the CRB index dropping 0.4%, depressed by fears of a looming stand-off in Washington over the US budget and debt ceiling.
'Export market red hot'
Wheat's support continued to come from a drip feed of supply disappointments at a time of firm demand, as highlighted by the strong starts by US and European Union exports to 2013-14, and with Russia expected soon to begin purchases for intervention stocks.
"December wheat is up only $0.16 a bushel from summer lows despite a 31% increase in Chinese wheat imports since June 1, and larger 2013-14 US wheat export inspections since June," Richard Feltes at RJ O'Brien said.
US Commodities said: "The wheat market has improved fundamentals. This is the reason December wheat is now $2 a bushel over December corn.
"The US export market remains red hot."
Tuesday's main supply scare was of frost in Argentina, adding to the pressure on a crop already being tested by dryness.
Temperatures last night fell as low #$%$ Celsius in parts of Buenos Aires, the main grain-growing province, besides in Cordoba and parts of Santa Fe.
However, early quality data on Canada's spring wheat harvest showed a decline in protein levels there, to 12.4-13.1%. Last year's spread was 13.1-14.2%.
That added to the concerns that quality wheat, at least, may prove in