Friday, June 27, 2008

S&P eyes 'political event risk' for ethanol

Loyal (and long-suffering) readers of Climateer Investing will probably be thinking "Simon Cameron!"
From MarketWatch:
The U.S. remains the largest ethanol producer in the world, even as spiking commodity and food prices kill profits for domestic biofuel names, an S&P study on the controversial fuel said Thursday.

The study zeroes in on a growing "political event risk" for the ethanol industry, if the food-verses-fuel debate sways public opinion and cuts into heavy government support in the form of tariffs and farm subsidies.

Globally, the U.S. leads ethanol production with 6.6 billion gallons in 2007, close to the government's 2012 target of 7.5 billion gallons, and ahead head of the Renewable Fuels Standard minimum requirement.

"With the exception of Brazilian sugar-cane based ethanol production, strong biofuel volume growth spells low profitability," said the study, which comes on the heels of rock-bottom stock prices for some ethanol makers....MORE