San Antonio, Texas-based transportation fuels manufacturer and marketer Valero Energy anticipates ethanol export demand to remain robust, while domestic ethanol consumption is expected to strengthen as gasoline season approaches.
The independent petroleum refiner and ethanol producer reported a first quarter 2017 ethanol segment operating income of $22mn, a 43.6pc fall from the previous year.
Adjusted operating income during the most recent quarter totaled $22mn, a 144pc rise from first quarter of 2016 totals of $9mn, due primarily to stronger ethanol prices, leading to a 22.9pc rise in gross margin per gallon of production compared to the prior year.
The company reported average ethanol production volumes of 4.04mn gallons/day during the first quarter of 2017, 301,000 gallons/day higher than the average production volumes during the first quarter of 2016.
Valero’s refining segment posted an operating income of $647mn, 29.3pc lower than first quarter 2016 figures. Biofuel blending costs totaled $149mn during the most recent quarter, $15mn lower than the first quarter of 2016, due largely to lower RIN prices.
The company’s refineries achieved a throughput capacity utilization of 91pc during the first quarter of 2017, while averaging 2.8mn barrels/day of throughout volume during the same period.
Valero, through its subsidiaries, operates 11 ethanol production facilities across the US Midwest, with an approximate production capacity of 1.4bn gallons/year.