USDA GAIN report addresses Canadian pellet, biogas industry

By Erin Voegele | December 29, 2014

The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network has published an annual report on the Canadian biofuels industry. The report highlights the current state of the Canadian wood pellet industry.

According to the report, the expansion of wood pellet production capacity in Canada has exceeded growth in demand for export markets. While production capacity has held relatively steady since 2011, sales have shown steady growth, increasing capacity utilization.

As of this year, the report indicates Canada has 41 pellet plants with a nameplate capacity of 3.175 million metric tons. That capacity is unchanged from 2013. Capacity use, however, is expected to increase from 56.7 percent last year to 68.7 percent in 2014.  Canadian pellet producers exported an estimated 2 million metric tons of pellets this year, up from 1.64 million tons in 2013.

The GAIN report indicates the province of British Columbia accounts for approximately 65 percent of Canadian production capacity, with Alberta, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia accounting for approximately 35 percent of capacity.