Corn farmers who had contracts to provide corn for ethanol plants owned by bankrupt VeraSun are being offered a deal by Valero Energy, which purchased some of the company’s assets.
Valero officials say they are offering farmers with forward contracts a bonus of 40 percent of the difference between the cash price for corn and the futures price on the contract. Valero spokesman Bill Day says most suppliers have accepted the deal. We said when we bought those plants we were looking forward to having a good working relationship with local suppliers. This is what we meant by that. It’s good for us, it locks in supply. It’s good for them as well,” said Day. Valero agreed to purchase seven ethanol facilities and have closed the deal on six of them. Four of the plants are in currently operating.
Last week, Valero reported a first-quarter profit increase 18 percent on higher margins for processing crude into gasoline and other petroleum products. CEO Bill Klesse says they expect business conditions to improve in biofuel under the government’s fuel blending requirements. “Acquiring these assets at a time of low ethanol margins enabled us to pay only 30% of replacement cost for some of the industry’s best ethanol plants,” Klesse said.