EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 810,000 tons in March

By Erin Voegele | July 15, 2021

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 750,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in March, with sales reaching 810,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the June edition of EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuels Report, which contains data for March. The EIA collected data from 82 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 82 manufacturers surveyed for March had a total combined production capacity of 12.99 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,369 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 790,000 tons of raw biomass feedstock in March, produced 750,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 810,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 137,099 tons of heating pellets and 622,878 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in March reached 102,543 tons at an average price of $185.76 per ton. Exports in March reached 714,513 tons at an average price of $172.35 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets increased to 170,619 tons in March, up from 117,332 tons in February. Inventories of utility pellets reached 352,457 tons in March, up from 350,724 tons in February.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 13.31 million tons in March, with all of that capacity listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. Capacity included 2.2 million tons in the East, 10.34 million tons in the South, and 766,120 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.