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

By Erin Voegele | May 13, 2021

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 700,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in January, with sales reaching 670,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the April edition of EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuels Report, which contains data for January. The EIA collected data from 82 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 82 manufacturers surveyed for January had a total combined production capacity of 13.16 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,388 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 1.42 million tons of raw biomass feedstock in January, produced 700,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 670,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 142,138 tons of heating pellets and 566,581 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in January reached 134,514 tons at an average price of $188.60 per ton. Exports in January reached 545,287 tons at an average price of $177.36 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets increased to 98,375 tons in January, up from 80,534 tons in December. Inventories of utility pellets increased from 252,923 tons in December to 391,764 tons in January.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 13.32 million tons in January, with all of that capacity listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. Capacity included 2.21 million tons in the East, 10.34 million tons in the South, and 766,228 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.