Ethanol futures fell for the first time in three days in Chicago on concern that elections in Europe will slow efforts to quell the region’s debt crisis, tempering energy demand.

Futures followed crude oil and gasoline lower after France elected Francois Hollande president, the first Socialist in 17 years to control Europe’s second-biggest economy. His platform includes plans for less austerity and more growth.

“Pretty much, the energy markets as a whole are weak,” said Dan Flynn, a trader at PFGBest in Chicago. “Ethanol kind of followed suit. The French voted the Socialist in and there’s kind of doubts in the Euro zone.”

Denatured ethanol for June delivery slipped 0.3 cent to settle at $2.201 a gallon on the Chicago Board of Trade. Ethanol has fallen 1 percent this year.

In spot market trading, ethanol on the West Coast increased 2.5 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $2.315 a gallon and in New York the biofuel added 2 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $2.245, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Ethanol in Chicago rose 1.5 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $2.16 a gallon and in the U.S. Gulf the additive gained 1 cent, or 0.5 percent, to $2.225.

Crude for June delivery slid 55 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $97.94 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since Feb. 6. Prices have fallen 11 percent since Feb. 24, when they reached the 2012 high of $109.77.

Gasoline for June delivery fell 0.17 cent to settle at $2.9741 a gallon on the exchange, the lowest settlement price since Feb. 7.

source: businessweek


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