by Jim Lane
The Top Line. In California, Aemetis (AMTX) reported that Q2 revenues increased $4.3 million and gross margins increased by $1.1 million compared to the second quarter of 2017. Similarly, during the first half of 2018, revenues increased $15.7 million and gross margins increased by $3.5 million compared to the first half of 2017.
Revenues were $45.0 million for the second quarter of 2018 compared to $40.8 million for the second quarter of 2017, driven by an increase in ethanol sales volumes from 15.6 million gallons to 16.4 million gallons and by stronger wet distillers grain and glycerin demand and pricing.
Operating loss was $0.9 million for the second quarter of 2018, a reduction from the operating loss of $1.7 million for the second quarter of 2017. Net loss was $6.2 million for the second quarter of 2018, compared to a net loss of $6.0 million for the second quarter of 2017 due to higher interest expense.
The Big Highlights. The Riverbank cellulosic ethanol project achieved significant progress during Q2 2018, including engineering, environmental permitting and EPC project milestones. The value of California Low Carbon Fuel Standard credits rose steadily from $110 in late February to $184 per credit on June 30, 2018, significantly increasing the value of the low carbon advanced ethanol that is planned to be produced by the Riverbank plant from orchard and other agricultural waste. And, record gasoline demand in the second quarter helped drive expanded demand and increased pricing for ethanol,. Plus, the price of wet distillers grains increased by 34% and the price of glycerin increased by 28% compared to Q2 2017.
Aemetis also achieved major milestones in the construction and operation of a pretreatment unit at its India plant to produce high value distilled biodiesel from lower cost feedstock.