EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 640,000 tons in April

By Erin Voegele | August 16, 2019

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 770,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in April, with sales reaching 640,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the July edition of the EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report, which includes data for April. The EIA collected data from 84 manufacturers of densified biomass fuel to complete the report. The report does not include data from facilities with annual production capacities of less than 10,000 tons. Those smaller facilities report data annually rather than monthly.

The 84 manufacturers that submitted data for April have a combined annual production capacity of 11.88 million tons per year and collectively had an equivalent of 2,201 full-time employees.

In April, respondents purchased 1.54 million tons of raw biomass feedstock, produced 770,000 tons of densified biomass fuel, and sold 640,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 150,326 tons of heating pellets and 618,714 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel reached 109,720 tons in April at an average price of $156.86 per ton. Exports in April reached 529,003 tons at an average price of $155.89 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard wood pellets increased to 121,727 tons, up from 68,138 ton in March. Inventories of utility wood pellets were also up, reaching 313,386 tons in April, up from 250,074 tons in March.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 11.94 million tons per year in March, with 11.89 million tons of capacity listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. Capacity included 2.13 million tons in the West, 9.01 million tons in the South and 796,501 tons in the West.