Ethanol producers are "scouring the countryside" for corn feedstock to produce the blendstock as profit margins firm, according to Gordon Linn, president of the Linn Group in Chicago, Ill.
More than a dozen production plants were idled last year due to the high cost of corn after severe drought conditions, including three of Valero Energy's 120 MMGY plants.
Valero said it plans to have most of its 1.2-billion-gallon production capacity operating by next week.
"If you can find a bushel of corn at an ethanol plant and you can put it in your inventory and grind it, you can make 40 cents a bushel today," Linn said. "They are bringing up plants and scouring the countryside for corn."
According to data released today from the Energy Information Administration, U.S. ethanol output was up 12,000 bpd to 809,000 bpd, a three-week high, during the second week of March.
Myke Feinman can be reached at email@example.com
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