EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 680,000 tons in February

By Erin Voegele | June 12, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 700,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in February, with sales reaching 680,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the May edition of EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuels Report, which contains data for February. 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 January had a total combined production capacity of 11.85 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,247 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 1.22 million tons of raw biomass feedstock in February, produced 700,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 680,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 168,559 tons of heating pellets and 535,088 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in February reached 151,937 tons at an average price of $169.22 per ton. Exports in February reached 532,014tons at an average price of $163.39 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets increased to 86,146 tons in February, down from 50,112 tons in January. Inventories of utility pellets fell from 385,874 tons in January to 377,747 tons in February.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 12.02 million tons in January, 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 814,820 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.