USIPA conference focuses on export potential
The U.S. Industrial Pellet Association kicked off its 3rd annual Exporting Pellets Conference in Miami in late October with a blend of optimism and measured pragmatism. More than 500 attendees were on hand at the event, which offered a venue for those in the North American pellet industry to discuss topics pertinent to their expanding industry, including increasing demand, future sustainability requirements and growing pains.
John Bingham, an agricultural economist from U.K.-based Hawkins Wright, spoke about European pellet demand at the event. He said wood pellet demand grew at an average annual rate of 23 percent from 2000 through 2013, with current demand reaching approximately 10 million metric tons. To put that volume in context, Bingham noted that 9 million metric tons would be about enough to meet 1 percent of U.S. electrical generation capacity.
Moving forward, Bingham said he sees market opportunity for nearly 27 million metric tons of consumption worldwide by 2020, with 20 million tons of that volume going to Europe. He also predicted increased demand in Asian and North American markets.