Spain and Finland handed out the majority of their 2016 EUA allocations over the past two weeks, EU data showed, leaving Italy as the only member state to have not yet started to distribute free CO2 allowances to its industry.
Spain dished out 56.2 million units or 95% of its EU-approved quota of 59.1 million, while Finland handed out 16.1 million or 83% of its 19.4 million-unit limit, according to the updated figures published by the European Commission on Thursday.
With a 2016 free EUA quota of 69.8 million, Italy is the only member state that has not yet received commission clearance to distribute allowances to its installations, which along with the rest of the bloc face an Apr. 30 deadline to hand in permits covering last year’s ETS emissions.
Some Italian companies may be starting to sweat as a number borrow from their current year’s allocation to use towards their previous year’s compliance obligations. Those intending to use 2016 EUAs to cover 2015 emissions may need to buy from the market should they not receive their free permits in time.
Italy was also one of the last governments to start to allocate permits last year, and according to government documents it was still handing out 2015 EUAs last month.
Including a few tiny issuances, governments handed out a total 73.6 million allowances since the last commission update on Mar. 31.
EU member states have now apportioned a total 644 million, or 86%, of their total quota of 750.9 million EUAs for 2016.
The data showed that a handful of other countries, including the UK, Hungary, and Romania, still had outstanding allocations, having handed out between 67% and 78% of their totals.
The data release gives another official glimpse into how governments are progressing in their free carbon permit hand-outs.
Market participants watch the allocations closely as they can weigh on prices should some companies in need of cash decide to sell parts of their allowance inventories upon receiving them.
The commission said it would publish an update to the figures on Apr. 28.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org