EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 850,000 tons in October

By Erin Voegele | February 17, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 870,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in October, with sales reaching 850,000 tons.

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

The 84 manufacturers surveyed for October had a total combined production capacity of 11.84 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,294 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 1.74 million tons of raw biomass feedstock in October, produced 870,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 850,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 218,856 tons of heating pellets and 651,429 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in October reached 283,061 tons at an average price of $172.32 per ton. Exports in October reached 570,369 tons at an average price of $166.19 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets fell to 128,499 tons in October, down from 176,409 tons in September. Inventories of utility pellets increased slightly, from 340,472 tons in September to 406,456 tons in October.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached nearly 12.02 million tons in October, 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.