EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 800,000 tons in October

By Erin Voegele | February 12, 2021

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 850,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in October, with sales reaching 800,000 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 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 October had a total combined production capacity of 12.37 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,362 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 1.55 million tons of raw biomass feedstock in October, produced 850,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 800,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 194,176 tons of heating pellets and 658,237 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in October reached 233,771 tons at an average price of $176.43 per ton. Exports in October reached 572,569 tons at an average price of $166.42 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets fell to 107,814 tons in October, down from 148,848 tons in September. Inventories of utility pellets increased from 377,630 tons in September to 431,280 tons in October.

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