Ethanol producers such as Green Plains Energy (NASDAQ:GPRE) have benefited substantially from a widening of the ethanol crush spread since the corn harvest last fall. While it could be argued that there are long term trends that provide reasons for owning ethanol producers, short term trends are running strongly against them. Profit margins at ethanol producers such as GPRE have hit a brick wall in the form of spot natural gas prices which recently skyrocketed to levels even higher than natural gas futures in the first quarter of 2014. This divergence has the potential to take sell side analysts, momentum investors, and long term ethanol bulls by surprise when GPRE and its peers report Q1 earning in April....
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