Fiber, Inventory and Sales

Pellet Mill Magazine reviews the U.S. EIA’s most recent Monthly Densified Fuel Report.
By Anna Simet | January 22, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced roughly 846,450 tons of densified biomass fuel in September, with sales reaching approximately 869,000 tons.

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

The reporting 84 manufacturers had a combined production capacity of 11.8 million tons, and collectively had the equivalent of 2,301 full-time employees.

In September, respondents purchased 1.6 million tons of raw biomass feedstock to produce 846,450 tons of densified biomass fuel, selling 900,000 tons. Production included roughly 195,400 tons of heating pellets and 625,900 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in September reached 237,265 tons at an average price of $165.93 per ton, compared to 218,000 tons at $157.56 in September 2018. Exports in September 2019 reached 631,871 tons at an average selling price of $162.67 per ton, compared to about 557,000 tons in September 2018, at $168 per ton.

February inventory levels for domestic pellets saw the lowest numbers in many years, dipping below 46,700 tons—a 78 percent decrease in comparison to the same month in 2018, which recorded approximately 217,850 tons of inventory.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets were at 340,472 tons in September, vs. 382,607 in the same month of 2018.

Author: Anna Simet
Editor, Pellet Mill Magazine