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Ethanol Declines as European Economy Slows, Iran Tension Eases

Ethanol futures declined in Chicago on concern that Europe’s debt crisis is slowing the global economy and as the European Union offered to restart discussions with Iran about that country’s nuclear program.

Prices slumped after an EU report showed the continent’s gross domestic product shrank 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter and after the organization said it’s open to a “full settlement” of the clash with Iran.

“Basically everything was down, commodities, equities, the whole complex,” said Ian Jackson, a trader at SCB & Associates LLC in Chicago. “You take a little bit of risk premium out of the market.”

Denatured ethanol for April delivery fell 1.6 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $2.291 a gallon in Chicago.

In cash market trading, ethanol in the U.S. Gulf increased 2 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $2.335 and on the West Coast the biofuel added 2 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $2.385, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Ethanol in Chicago gained 0.5 cent to $2.25 a gallon and in New York the additive fell 3.5 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $2.295.

The biofuel is blended with gasoline to stretch supply, as part of U.S. energy plans to reduce dependence on foreign sources of crude oil.

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