German biofuels producer Verbio said Wednesday that biodiesel and ethanol margins for the July-March period fell more than expected, resulting in significantly lower earnings, despite high capacity utilization.
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Verbio produced 544,949 mt of biodiesel and ethanol over July-March, up 0.95% year on year. The biodiesel segment contributed 357,239 mt, up 1%, while the ethanol segment amounted to 187,710 mt, up 0.8%.
In addition it produced 464.4 GWh of biomethane, 11% higher than the same period last year.
The producer said its plants will continue production through to the end of the financial year at high levels of capacity utilization, despite low margins and a lower earnings forecast.
Verbio attributed lower realized and expected earnings for the financial year to continued imports of subsidized biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, resulting in a sharper-than-anticipated decline in prices in the third quarter of the 2017-18 financial year. Sustained low prices for ethanol further aggravated the situation, with no change expected in the short term.
Indicatively, S&P Global Platts RME and FAME 0 prices averaged $870.51/mt and $806.74/mt respectively over January-March, from $963.64/mt and $930.67/mt over the same period of 2017.
Prices for Platts T2 ethanol averaged Eur457.29/cu m FOB Rotterdam over January-March, from Eur606.25/cu m in the same period of 2017.
Verbio has production facilities in Zorbig, Bitterfeld and Schwedt in Germany and produces biofuels with up to 90% GHG savings.