EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 650,000 tons in January

By Erin Voegele | May 14, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 770,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in January, with sales reaching 650,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the April edition of EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuels Report, which contains data for January. 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 January had a total combined production capacity of 11.85 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,205 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 1.59 million tons of raw biomass feedstock in January, produced 770,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 650,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 184,451 tons of heating pellets and 589,367 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in January reached 211,529 tons at an average price of $173.27 per ton. Exports in January reached 465,014 tons at an average price of $167.75 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets fell to 50,112 tons in January, down from 68,640 tons in December. Inventories of utility pellets increased from 320,026 tons in December to 385,874 tons in January.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 12.02 million tons in January, 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 814,820 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.