EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 930,000 tons in December

By Erin Voegele | April 16, 2021

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 760,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in December, with sales reaching 930,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the March edition of EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuels Report, which contains data for December. 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 December had a total combined production capacity of 12.36 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,382 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 1.56 million tons of raw biomass feedstock in December, produced 760,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 930,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 161,979 tons of heating pellets and 599,576 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in December reached 177,098 tons at an average price of $186.69 per ton. Exports in Decenber reached 761,935 tons at an average price of $172.44 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets fell to 80,534 tons in December, down from 91,377 tons in November. Inventories of utility pellets fell from 439,691 tons in November to 252,923 tons in December.

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