CropEnergies: Ethanol prices expected to gradually improve

By Erin Voegele | July 11, 2018

European ethanol producer CropEnergies has reported its 2018-’19 financial year began with below-average revenues, but noted ethanol prices and the company’s financial performance are expected to gradually improve over the remainder of the year.  

First quarter revenues fell by 17 percent to EUR 192 million ($224.14 million), down from EUR 231 million during the same period of the previous year. EBITDA fell to EUR 14 million, down from EUR 33 million during the same period of the 2017-’18 financial year. The operating result fell to EUR 5 million, down from EUR 24 million during the same period of last year. The decrease is primarily attributed to significantly lower ethanol prices. As a result, CropEnergies said it produced production by 8 percent. The company produced 257,000 cubic meters (67.89 million gallons) of ethanol during the period, down from 280,000 cubic meters during the same period of the 2017-’18 financial year.

According to CropEnergies, ethanol prices are expected to improve over the course of the year.

In its financial report, CropEnergies cites a deal reached by negotiators from the European Commission, European Parliament and European Council on June 14 on a revised Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) that sets new targets for renewables.

Under the deal, the minimum share of renewable energies used in transport will increase from 10 percent in 2020 to 14 percent in 2030. “Despite considerable doubts about the environmental and climate benefits of the envisaged fictitious multiple counting, e.g. electricity used in electric vehicles, CropEnergies sees significant progress in the compromise,” said the company in a statement. “This also applies to the gradual phase-out of the use of raw materials from carbon-rich areas (e.g. palm oil from rainforest regions) from 2023 onwards. Keeping established renewable fuels from locally produced biomass and the objective of expanding the use of residue- and waste-based fuels create opportunities for both environment and biofuels industry. The precondition for this is a rapid and targeted implementation in the member states. Thanks to its know-how and experience, CropEnergies is well positioned to make mobility even cleaner in the future with sustainably produced renewable fuels.”

CropEnergies currently operates a 400,000-cubic-meter-per-year ethanol plant in Zeitz, Germany; a 300,000-cubic-meter-per-year ethanol plant in Wanze, Belgium; a 400,000-cubic-meter-per-year ethanol plant in Wilton, U.K.; and 100,000-cubic-meter-per-year ethanol plant in Loon-Plage, France.