EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 780,000 tons in August

By Erin Voegele | December 17, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 840,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in August, with sales reaching 780,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the November edition of EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuels Report, which contains data for August. 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 August had a total combined production capacity of 12.4 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,332 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 1.4 million tons of raw biomass feedstock in August, produced 840,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 780,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 178,391 tons of heating pellets and 664,441 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in August reached 224,001 tons at an average price of $171.49 per ton. Exports in August reached 557,048 tons at an average price of $169.81 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets fell to 194,895 tons in August, up from 211,938 tons in July. Inventories of utility pellets increased from 316,196 tons in July to 390,185 tons in August.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 12.61 million tons in August, with 12.61 million tons of that capacity listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. Capacity included 2.19 million tons in the East, 9.61 million tons in the South, and 807,320 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.