EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 850,000 tons in November

By Erin Voegele | March 20, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 810,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in November, with sales reaching 850,000 tons.

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

The 84 manufacturers surveyed for November had a total combined production capacity of 11.84 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,310 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 1.44 million tons of raw biomass feedstock in November, produced 810,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 850,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 178,976 tons of heating pellets and 628,874 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in November reached 224,095 tons at an average price of $172.86 per ton. Exports in November reached 624,354 tons at an average price of $162.06 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets fell to 97,224 tons in November, down from 128,499 tons in October. Inventories of utility pellets increased slightly, from 406,456 tons in October to 413,410 tons in November.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 12.02 million tons in November, with 12.01 million tons of that capacity listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. Capacity included 2.19 million tons in the East, 9.01 million tons in the South, and 809,820 tons in the West. One plant was reported as planned or under construction. That facility is under development by Mt. Taylor WoodYouRecycle in New Mexico and is expected to have an annual capacity of 1,700 tons.