EIA: Densified biomass sales reach 780,000 tons in June

By Erin Voegele | October 11, 2019

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced 770,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in June, with sales reaching 780,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the September edition of the EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report, which includes data for June. The EIA collected data from 83 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 83 manufacturers had a combined production capacity of 11.87 million tons per year and collectively had an equivalent of 2,211 full-time employees.

In June, respondents purchased 1.39 million tons of raw biomass feedstock, produced 770,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 780,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Sales included 163,585 tons of heating pellets and 601,666 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in June reached 134,415 tons at an average price of $162.83 per ton. Exports reached 648,255 tons at an average price of $180.76 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard wood pellets increased to 234,904 tons in June, up from 185,326 tons in May. Inventories of utility pellets fell to 329,763 tons in June, down from 418,265 tons in May.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached nearly 11.94 million tons in June, with 11.89 million tons of that capacity listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. Capacity included 2.13 million tons in the East, 9.01 million tons in the South and 765,501 tons in the West. One plant was reported as planned or under construction. That facility is under development by Mt. Taylor WoodYouRecycle in New Mexico and is expected to have an annual capacity of 1,700 tons.