Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Document and Entity Information

Document and Entity Information - USD ($)
$ in Thousands
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2018
Mar. 14, 2019
Jun. 29, 2018
Document And Entity Information      
Entity Registrant Name Pacific Ethanol, Inc.    
Entity Central Index Key 0000778164    
Document Type 10-K    
Trading Symbol PEIX    
Document Period End Date Dec. 31, 2018    
Amendment Flag false    
Current Fiscal Year End Date --12-31    
Entity a Well-known Seasoned Issuer No    
Entity a Voluntary Filer No    
Entity's Reporting Status Current Yes    
Entity Emerging Growth Company false    
Entity Ex Transition Period false    
Entity Filer Category Accelerated Filer    
Entity Shell Company false    
Entity Small Business true    
Entity Public Float     $ 112,200
Entity Common Stock, Shares Outstanding   48,890,428  
Document Fiscal Period Focus FY    
Document Fiscal Year Focus 2018