| March 28
March 28 Pacific Ethanol Inc said that
it is importing sorghum as well as buying the grain from
domestic sources as prices for corn, the primary feedstock for
the U.S. ethanol industry, hovered near historic highs.
"Both as a step toward qualifying for advanced biofuel and
to take advantage of favorable pricing, we purchased sorghum as
feedstock for producing ethanol from local, Midwest and
international markets," CEO Neil Koehler said in the company's
fourth quarter earnings release late on Wednesday.
Grain traders said rumors had circulated earlier this month
that the company was buying sorghum from Argentina for import
into Stockton, California.
California-based Pacific Ethanol operates four plants in the
western United States with the capacity to collectively produce
200 million gallons annually.
Sorghum seed producer Chromatin Inc last month signed a
multi-year agreement with Pacific Ethanol to produce and deliver
locally grown sorghum to make ethanol.
Several U.S. ethanol plants have explored alternative
feedstocks such as wheat this year as the U.S. corn stockpile
was projected to shrink to the smallest in 17 years by late
summer. The plants still require corn, but are able to stretch
supplies by displacing up to 20 percent of corn with another