Biofuel Producers in a Deregulated Market

41 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2014 Last revised: 19 May 2017

See all articles by Hamed Ghoddusi

Hamed Ghoddusi

California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo; Economic Research Forum

Date Written: May 18, 2017


In the deregulated fuels market, biofuels and fossil fuels are close competitors and substitutes. Thus, biofuel producers are subject to risks due to volatile crude oil and biofuels feedstock prices. This paper proposes a two-sector fuel market with competing oil refinery and biofuel sectors, calibrated for cases of gasoline/ethanol and diesel/biodiesel. The model suggests that ethanol and biodiesel plants will shut-down approximately 40% and 20% of the time, respectively. The skewness of profits is -0.32, in contrast to the 0.91 of feedstock prices. Several firm-level and policy-level options to manage crude oil price risks for biofuel producers are discussed further.

Keywords: Price Risks, Biofuels Policies, Risk Management, Free Cash-Flow

JEL Classification: O13, Q42, G32

Suggested Citation

Ghoddusi, Hamed, Biofuel Producers in a Deregulated Market (May 18, 2017). Howe School Research Paper No. 2014-41, Available at SSRN: or

Hamed Ghoddusi (Contact Author)

California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo ( email )

San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
United States

Economic Research Forum ( email )


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