EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 730,000 tons in July

By Erin Voegele | November 01, 2019

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced 790,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in July, with sales reaching 730,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the October edition of the EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report, which includes data for July. 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 combined production capacity of 11.91 million tons per year and collectively had an equivalent of 2,262 full-time employees.

In July, respondents purchased 1.62 million tons of raw biomass feedstock, produced 790,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 730,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 171,642 tons of heating pellets and 623,949 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in July reached 180,754 tons at an average price of $163.61 per ton. Exports reached 548,844 tons at an average price of $167.88 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets increased to 245,543 tons in July, up from 239,063 tons in June. Inventories of utility pellets also increased, from 329,763 tons in June to 333,181 tons in July.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached nearly 12.02 million tons in July, with 12.01 million tons of that capacity listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. Capacity included 2.19 million tons in the East, 9.01 million tons in the South and 809,820 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.