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ACCU Market Monthly Report - December 2023

ACCU Market Monthly Report - December 2023

The ACCU market report is produced monthly and provides an overview of the key developments in the Australian carbon market.

ACCU Market Monthly Report - December 2023

About this report

In this report we cover Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) price movements, trading volumes, market sentiment and significant project registrations.

Please note: This report provides an overview of the key developments in the Australian carbon market. Our in-market team produces daily and detailed updates and trade reports to CORE Markets software subscribers and clients. Contact us to find out more.


ACCU market overview for December '23

  • The ACCU market closed the year on a positive note with the beginnings of the highly anticipated engagement from Safeguard Mechanism-liable entities contributing to the steady price growth in the market, from $31.75 to $33.50 for spot Generic ACCUs. The market in December saw lower volumes compared to the previous month, but the holiday period can be cited as a likely cause of this decline.
  • Participants were poised for market moving signals from the UN COP 28 in Dubai, particularly towards progressions on the Article 6.2 and 6.4, although no significant breakthroughs were made.
  • The Clean Energy Regulator announced late in December the progressions with the development of the new ACCU registry, having appointed a supplier to build out the new registry and increased functionality.
  • Australia’s Climate Change Authority released its fourth review of the ACCU Scheme on the 18th of December. The review found the scheme is fundamentally well designed and its role in supporting Australia’s net zero ambitions. The CCA made 15 recommendations to ensure that it remains fit for purpose. See Feature 1 below for more detail.

Method specific price movements & volumes traded

ACCU price movements

  • Generic spot ACCUs started the month by opening higher at $31.75 (for a No AD parcel), up 25c from November’s last print of $31.50. The price grew steadily across the month, with $31.75 signifying December’s lowest level dealt and the month’s close of $33.50 being its peak, amounting to a 5.51% increase across the period.
  • Human-Induced Regeneration (HIR) ACCUs followed a similar trajectory, opening sideways at $35.00 and closing at their peak level of $36.00, representing a 2.86% climb across the month. The lowest level traded being on 5th December at $34.50.
  • Whilst no HIR/Generic spot ACCU swaps were reported in December, the $3.00 premium for HIR/Generics remained solid across the month.
  • An ACCU Spot Agriculture (Animal Effluent Management) deal transacted at $32.15 in 45k on the 13th December, the first Agricultural trade reported since May 2023, which traded at $36.50 in 5k.
  • Two trades occurred in the forward market, a March24 HIR ACCU parcel traded at $35.75 in 30k on 8th December and a January-March2025 HIR ACCU strip traded at $38.75 in 225k on 22nd December.
  • Additionally, in the options market, a Generic ACCU $31 Put Expiry Feb24 traded in 100k at $1.20 on 13th December.

ACCU volumes traded

  • A total of 1,916,000 ACCUs traded in the secondary market, a 12% decline from November’s reported volume of 2.16 million units.
  • Generic ACCUs contributed to 51.5% of this total, equating to 987k units; 674k of these units included the ‘No AD’ stipulation.
  • HIR ACCUs represented 46% of the reported market, totaling 884k.
  • ACCU derivates amounted to 355k, including the Generic ACCU $31 Put Expiry Feb24 in 100k, the March24 HIR ACCU in 30k and the January-March2025 HIR ACCU strip in 225k.
  • Trading volume peaked at the start of the month on 4th December, with 275k reported units transacting on the day, including a 100k parcel of spot Generic No AD ACCUs at $31.90 and an 85k spot Generic ACCU trade at $31.75.

ACCU supply, issuance & project registrations

  • A total of 1,072,840 ACCUs were issued in December across 87 projects, similar to November’s figures and thereby bringing the number of ACCUs issued under the scheme to over 139.3 million units.
  • The first batch in December saw around 263k units being issued across 17 projects, in the second batch 439k were issued to 46 projects; 185k of these credits were issued to Terra Carbon across 29 of their projects. In the final issuance of the year, 24 projects supplied the 370k units issued, 84k being the largest number to go to a single project: the Savanna Burning project run by Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation.
  • In total, 7 new projects were registered to the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) in December. This was composed of four Soil Carbon projects, two from Western Australia and two from New South Wales and three Plantation Forestry projects from Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia.
  • Across 2023, 336 projects have been registered to the ERF, 12% less than 2022’s total of 383 projects registered and bringing the overall number of ACCU projects registered to 1,743.

Features

Feature 1

Climate Change Authority's review of the ACCU Scheme

Australia’s Climate Change Authority (CCA) released its fourth review of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2021 – also known as the ACCU Scheme  - on the 18th of December.

The review found the scheme is fundamentally well designed with robust governance, compliance and enforcement structures, while recognising that changes are needed to ensure that it remains fit for purpose.

In making its recommendations, the CCA advises the government builds on its response to the Independent Review of ACCUs (the ‘Chubb Review’) and take further steps to improve the transparency, integrity and effectiveness of the scheme.  

As such, there is close alignment between CCA’s recommendations and those of the Chubb Review, with key aspects of the latest recommendations already under consideration.

The CCA has made 15 recommendations in total to help align the scheme with international carbon developments and best practices.

Here is a brief overview:

  • 1. Projects to transition to method variations and updated tools within two years of their making, unless advised otherwise by the Carbon Abatement Integrity Commitee.
  • 2. When amending the ‘newness requirement’ to focus on new abatement rather than new activity (in line with Chubb Review), ensure methods continue to deduct abatement resulting from historic levels of activity.
  • 3. More frequent reviews of the additionality of methods, with all assessments published.
  • 4. Require project baselines to account for the risk of a proportion of project activity becoming non-additional over time, and climate-driven changes in climate stocks.
  • 5. Publish all information used to determine net abatement from projects offsets reports, adverse audit findings, and easy-to-understand material on the evidence base, assumption and limitations of method tools.
  • 6. Make project permanence information readily available, allow projects to vary their permanence from 25 to 100 years, and consider further means to increase average storage duration under the scheme.
  • 7. Regular and transparent reviews of the effectiveness of key integrity mechanisms, for example the risk of reversal buffer and permanence period discount to ensure they are well calibrated.
  • 8. Include the risk of market leakage in method assessments, regularly assess this risk during the life of a method and publish these assessments.
  • 9. Create and apply an evidence-based approach to prioritising methods for development and publish information about the approach and its application.
  • 10. Enable non-carbon benefits to be reported as ACCU attributes subject to meeting quality standards, and support First Nations people to develop a self-determined approach for verifying benefits flowing to their communities.
  • 11. Amend the Act to ensure project proponents seek free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) from Native Title holders and, when supporting the application of FPIC (in line with Chubb Review), extend this support to include Native Title claimants and other service providers that advise people seeking and giving consent.
  • 12. Enable better participation of First Nations people in the ACCU Scheme by building equitable access to the carbon market, engaging First Nations representatives to provide advice on the scheme and providing start-up funding for First Nations led projects.
  • 13. Amend the Act to expand the role of regional Natural Resource Management (NRM) plans and organisations to inform the planning of ACCU projects and help mitigate the risk of adverse impacts on regions.
  • 14. Support the establishment of a carbon dioxide removal industry by identifying and promoting new solutions, amending the Act to include engineered removals, calling for method development proposals and providing support for the development of new engineered methods.
  • 15. Make information about the vintage of ACCUs readily available through a mechanism such as the forthcoming Unit Register.

Learn more here: 2023 Review of the Carbon Credits Act 2011

Stay up-to-date with ACCU market developments

  • Request a demo of our carbon markets analytics platform, which includes ACCU market data across major methodologies, including forward price curves
  • Track the Generic ACCU price, it’s updated on our website each day
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