EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 710,000 tons in March

By Erin Voegele | July 05, 2019

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 770,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in March, with sales reaching 710,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the June edition of the EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report, which includes data for March. The EIA collected data from 84 operating manufacturers of densified biomass fuel to complete the report. The report does not include data from facilities with annual production capacities of less than 10,000 tons. Those smaller facilities report data annually rather than monthly.

The 84 manufacturers that submitted data for March have a combined annual production capacity of 1.88 million tons and had the equivalent of 2,362 full-time employees.

In March, respondents purchased 1.49 million tons of raw biomass feedstock, produced 770,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 710,000 million tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 141,446 tons of heating pellets and 631,166 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel reached 156,516 tons in March at an average price of $161.93 per ton. Exports reached 460,592 tons in March at an average price of $166.19 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard wood pellets increased to 68,138 tons in March, up from 46,257 tons in February. Inventories of utility pellets also increased, from 226,335 tons in February to 250,074 tons in March.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 11.94 million tons per year in March, with 11.89 million tons of capacity listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. Capacity included 2.13 million tons in the West, 9.01 million tons in the South and 796,501 tons in the West.