Hungarian Ethanol Maker Complained to Commission About Platts

Pannonia Ethanol, a Hungarian producer of ethanol fuel, lodged a complaint with the European Commission last year after price reporting agency Platts denied it the opportunity to contribute to setting prices.

For more than a year the company sought access to Platt’s daily half-hour window during which it sets price benchmarks for different fuels on the basis of bids and offers by its participants, even though it complied with all the requests for additional information, said spokesman Mark Brennock.

“Pannonia Ethanol has unsuccessfully sought access to the Platts ethanol window for over twelve months to trade its ethanol products,” Brennock said in an e-mailed statement. “After being repeatedly turned down by Platts, the company lodged a complaint late last year with the European Commission solely and specifically about access to Platts for trading ethanol products.”

The European Commission is investigating Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc, Statoil ASA and Platts, a unit of McGraw Hill Financial Inc., about potential manipulation of prices. The probe extends to undisclosed crude-derived products and biofuels.

“To produce benchmarks of the highest quality, Platts engages in a thorough vetting process by which interested participants must demonstrate that they can meet the requirements of our published methodology,” spokeswoman Kathleen Tanzy said. “Platts followed this established process with Pannonia Ethanol.”