Italy handed out nearly 63 million free EUAs to industry for 2016 in the past fortnight, the European Commission said late Thursday, bringing this year’s distribution of carbon allowances near completion.
Italy had been the last country to start dishing out EUAs, according to the Commission’s last update on Apr. 14. Its issuance pushes the overall number of allowances handed out so far this year to 728.4 million out of a total EU-wide quota of 752.9 million.
More than half of the remaining unallocated units are earmarked for installations in Italy, which has a limit of 69.7 million, and the UK, which has handed out 55 million out of 61.9 million.
Romania handed out a further 8.9 million free EUAs to its industry over the past two weeks, while the UK doled out another 7 million, the latest data showed.
The figures give 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.
While these allowances are meant to be surrendered by companies next year against their 2016 emissions, some may be borrowing forward and needed these units in order to meet the Apr. 30 EU ETS compliance deadline for 2015.
The Commission said it would publish an update to the figures on May 12.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org