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

By Erin Voegele | November 13, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 750,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in July, with sales reaching 650,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the October edition of EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuels Report, which contains data for July. The EIA collected data from 83 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 83 manufacturers surveyed for July had a total combined production capacity of 11.8 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,224 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 1.36 million tons of raw biomass feedstock in July, produced 750,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 650,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 174,016 tons of heating pellets and 581,260 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in July reached 192,924 tons at an average price of $168.57 per ton. Exports in July reached 466,871 tons at an average price of $159.27 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets increased to 211,938 tons in July, up from 208,440 tons in June. Inventories of utility pellets increased from 268,858 tons in June to 316,196 tons in July.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 12.01 million tons in July, 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 807,320 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.