EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 900,000 tons in August

By Erin Voegele | December 06, 2019

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufactures produced 820,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in August, with sales reaching 900,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the November edition of the EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuels 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 completed production capacity of 11.91 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,293 full-time employees.

In August, respondents purchased 1.66 million tons of raw biomass feedstock, produced 820,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 900,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 195,382 tons of heating pellets and 625,896 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in August reached 217,741 tons at an average price of $168.63 per ton. Exports in August reached 684,425 tons at an average price of $173.59 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard fell to 225,365 tons in August, down from 245,453 tons in July. Inventories of utility pellets remained relatively flat at 333,683 tons, compared 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 August, 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.