Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

7. Commitments and Contingencies

7. Commitments and Contingencies
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2017
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and Contingencies

Sales Commitments – At June 30, 2017, the Company had entered into sales contracts with its major customers to sell certain quantities of ethanol and co-products. The Company had open ethanol indexed-price contracts for 32,009,000 gallons of ethanol as of June 30, 2017 and open fixed-price ethanol sales contracts totaling $50,591,000 as of June 30, 2017. The Company had open fixed-price co-product sales contracts totaling $28,870,000 and open indexed-price co-product sales contracts for 66,000 tons as of June 30, 2017. These sales contracts are scheduled to be completed throughout 2017.


Purchase Commitments – At June 30, 2017, the Company had indexed-price purchase contracts to purchase 11,174,000 gallons of ethanol and fixed-price purchase contracts to purchase $12,473,000 of ethanol from its suppliers. The Company had $19,959,000 of fixed-price corn purchase contracts and basis contracts with its suppliers as of June 30, 2017. These purchase commitments are scheduled to be satisfied throughout 2017. 


Litigation – General The Company is subject to various claims and contingencies in the ordinary course of its business, including those related to litigation, business transactions, employee-related matters, and others. When the Company is aware of a claim or potential claim, it assesses the likelihood of any loss or exposure. If it is probable that a loss will result and the amount of the loss can be reasonably estimated, the Company will record a liability for the loss. If the loss is not probable or the amount of the loss cannot be reasonably estimated, the Company discloses the claim if the likelihood of a potential loss is reasonably possible and the amount involved could be material. While there can be no assurances, the Company does not expect that any of its pending legal proceedings will have a material impact on the Company’s financial condition or results of operations.


The Company assumed certain legal matters which were ongoing at July 1, 2015, the date of the Company’s acquisition of Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings, Inc (“PE Central”). Among them were lawsuits between Aventine Renewable Energy, Inc. (now known as Pacific Ethanol Pekin, LLC, or “PE Pekin”) and Glacial Lakes Energy, Aberdeen Energy and Redfield Energy, together, the “Defendants,” in which PE Pekin sought damages for breach of termination agreements that wound down ethanol marketing arrangements between PE Pekin and each of the Defendants. In February and March 2017, the Company and the Defendants entered into settlement agreements and the Defendants paid in cash to the Company $3.9 million in final resolution of these matters. The Company did not assign any value to the claims against the Defendants in its accounting for the Aventine acquisition as of July 1, 2015. The Company recorded a gain, net of legal fees, of $3.6 million upon receipt of the cash settlement and recognized the gain in selling, general and administrative expenses in the consolidated statements of operations for the six months ended June 30, 2017.