EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 870,000 tons in September

By Erin Voegele | January 13, 2021

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 800,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in September, with sales reaching 870,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the December edition of EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuels Report, which contains data for September. The EIA collected data from 83 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 83 manufacturers surveyed for September had a total combined production capacity of 12.37 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,337 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 1.47 million tons of raw biomass feedstock in September, produced 800,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 870,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 173,333 tons of heating pellets and 629,927 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in September reached 224,964 tons at an average price of $173.50 per ton. Exports in September reached 658,081 tons at an average price of $165.88 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets fell to 148,848 tons in September, down from 194,895 tons in August. Inventories of utility pellets fell from 390,185 tons in August to 377,630 tons in September.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 12.61 million tons in September, 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.