EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 670,000 tons in April

By Erin Voegele | August 14, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 710,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in April, with sales reaching 670,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the July edition of EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuels Report, which contains data for April. 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 April had a total combined production capacity of 11.85 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,194 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 1.39 million tons of raw biomass feedstock in April, produced 710,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 670,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 122,657 tons of heating pellets and 592,364 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in April reached 120,275 tons at an average price of $161.22 per ton. Exports in April reached 548,340 tons at an average price of $164.43 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets increased to 169,256 tons in April, up from 137,906 tons in March. Inventories of utility pellets increased from 318,746 tons in March to 345,685 tons in April.

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