EIA: Densified biomass fuel production reaches 790,000 in May

By Erin Voegele | September 13, 2019

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 790,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in May, with sales reaching 620,000 tons.

The Data was released as part of the August edition of the EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report, which includes data for April. The EIA collected data from 84 operating 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 had a total production capacity of 11.88 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,219 full-time employees.

In May, respondents purchased 1.58 million tons of raw biomass feedstock, produced 790,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 620,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 163,255 tons of heating pellets and 630,928 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel reached 103,544 tons in May at an average price of $161.43 per ton. Exports reached 518,743 tons in May at an average price of $159.12 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard wood pellets increased to 185,326 tons in May, up from 121,127 tons in April. Inventories of utility pellets also increased, from 334,837 tons in April, to 418,265 tons in May.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 11.94 million tons in May, 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.