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Pacific Ethanol welcomes use of higher ethanol blends in Q2 results

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US renewable fuels producer Pacific Ethanol has released its financial results for the second quarter and first half of 2019, with both sales and production impacted by the ‘current poor margin environment’.

Pacific Ethanol reported net sales of $346.3 million (€313.6 million) for the second quarter of this year, down from last year’s sales. Total gallons sold in the quarter stood at 213 million gallons, down marginally year-on-year from 227.4 million gallons.

“We continue to operate efficiently in the current poor margin environment by reducing our operating costs and targeting yield improvements, energy reductions, lower carbon intensities and increased sales of high-quality alcohol and feed products,” explained Neil Koehler, president and CEO.

“The end result is that while crush margins improved only slightly in the second quarter our loss available to shareholders was $8.0 million, an improvement from a loss of $13.2 million in the first quarter and our adjusted EBITDA increased significantly to a positive $7.2 million in the second quarter, up from a positive $1.6 million in the first quarter,” he added.

Koehler remained positive in offering a market outlook, commenting: ““We are encouraged by the EPA’s [Environmental Protection Agency’s] final ruling on E15 in June to allow year-round sale and use of higher ethanol blends. The market is already experiencing some incremental demand as a result of this ruling, with material growth expected in the years to come.

“Long term, we remain confident that the compelling cost, octane and carbon benefits of ethanol will drive both new domestic and export demand and we are taking the necessary steps to best position Pacific Ethanol to benefit when market conditions improve.”