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Americas Earnings Ethanol

Valero posts increased ethanol production, lower operating income during Q3

San Antonio, Texas-based transportation fuels manufacturer and marketer Valero Energy announced today robust ethanol production volumes during the third quarter of 2017, despite a weakened segment operating income and margin.

The independent petroleum refiner and ethanol producer announced average ethanol production volumes of 4.03mn gallons/day during the third quarter of 2017, 217,000 gallons/day (6%) higher than the average production volumes recorded during the third quarter of 2016.

Ethanol segment operating income totaled just $82mn, while segment margin totaled $213mn during the third quarter of 2017, a 23% and 7% respective fall from the previous year.

Adjusted ethanol segment operating income per gallon during the quarter totaled $0.22, a 27% fall from third quarter of 2016 totals of $0.30, due primarily to higher corn prices and lower distillers grain prices that pressured margins.

The company expressed contentment regarding its refining segment performance, despite disrupted third quarter operations at five of its US refineries due to Hurricane Harvey.

Valero’s refining segment posted an operating income of $1.4bn, 50% higher than third quarter 2016 figures. Biofuel blending costs totaled $230mn during the most recent quarter, $32mn higher than the third quarter of 2016, due largely to higher RIN prices.

The company’s refineries achieved a throughput capacity utilization of 92% during the third quarter of 2017, while averaging 2.9mn barrels/day of throughout volume during the same period.

Valero, through its subsidiaries, operates 14 refineries and 11 ethanol production facilities across the US, with an approximate production capacity of 3.1mn barrels/day and 1.4bn gallons/year, respectively.

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