Valero Restarts Ethanol Plant in Indiana as Returns Improve

Valero Energy Corp., the third-biggest U.S. ethanol producer, has resumed output at a distillery in Linden, Indiana.

The plant, which has an annual capacity of 120 million gallons, restarted yesterday as returns on making the fuel improved, Bill Day, a company spokesman based in San Antonio, said in an e-mail today.

Valero resumed operations in Bloomingburg, Ohio, earlier this month and in Albion, Nebraska, in February after idling the distilleries because of higher corn costs and poor profit.

Denatured ethanol for April delivery fell 2.6 cents, or 1 percent, to $2.543 a gallon at 1:21 p.m. local time on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices have gained 16 percent this year.

Corn for May delivery slipped 8.5 cents, or 1.2 percent, to 7.245 a bushel on the CBOT. One bushel makes at least 2.75 gallons of ethanol.

The corn crush spread, representing gains or losses from turning corn into ethanol and based on May contracts, was minus 13 cents a gallon, unchanged from yesterday. The amount doesn’t include revenue from the sale of dried distillers’ grains, a byproduct of ethanol production, which can be fed to livestock.

Ethanol output last week averaged 809,000 barrels a day, down 9.4 percent from a year earlier and down 16 percent from the record 963,000 barrels a day in December 2011, according to data from the Energy Information Administration.

Stockpiles of the biofuel have fallen a record seven consecutive weeks to 18.5 million barrels, the lowest level in more than four months, a March 20 report from the Energy Department’s statistical arm showed.

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