Minnesota Ethanol producers see earnings fall

Source: By DAVID SHAFFER, Minneapolis Star Tribune • Posted: Monday, March 14, 2016

Earnings fell for state’s 21 producers in 2015

Minnesota’s 21 ethanol plants produced more ethanol and at lower cost, but made less money in 2015 compared with 2014, an industry report says.

The report by ABF Economics said ethanol plants in the state produced 1.2 billion gallons of ethanol, up 11 percent from 2014, along with 3.6 million tons of animal feed called dried distiller’s grains and 198 million pounds of industrial corn oil used in feed and biodiesel production.

Ethanol producers spent $1.5 billion to purchase 423 million bushels of corn, about 30 percent of the state’s crop, according to the report for the Minnesota Biofuels Association, a trade group. Overall, operating costs were down 24 percent, due partly to lower corn prices, the report said.

Revenues also fell as biofuel and feed prices dropped. Minnesota producers’ earnings before interest, taxes and amortization were $489 million, down 39 percent from 2014, the report said.