Report: North American wood pellet exports double

By Anna Austin | March 08, 2011

Wood pellet exports from the U.S. and Canada to Europe have doubled in the past two years, with 1.6 million tons of wood pellets shipped from the two countries to the Netherlands, U.K. and Belgium in 2010, according to a report by Wood Resources International LLC.

The report points out that, while Canada has been the major overseas wood pellet provider to Europe for the past 10 years, reaching about 1 million tons in shipments in 2010, exports from the U.S. have taken off since they began in 2008, reaching 600,000 tons in 2010.

The European Union’s goal of reaching 20 percent renewable energy by 2020 can be attributed to the increased demand, as many countries have ramped up their consumption of woody biomass in the form of wood pellets and wood chips in the past few years to meet the renewable target, the report said. More than 11 million tons of wood pellets were consumed in the EU in 2010, up 7 percent from the previous year.

The report also predicts that higher oil prices will benefit wood pellet exporters in North America, and that shipments to Europe can be expected to increase during 2011.