EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 700,000 tons in February

By Erin Voegele | June 09, 2021

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 620,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in February, with sales reaching 700,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the May edition of EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuels Report, which contains data for February. 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 February had a total combined production capacity of 12.99 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,365 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 1.21 million tons of raw biomass feedstock in February, produced 620,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 700,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 156,615 tons of heating pellets and 464,009 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in February reached 136,859 tons at an average price of $188.26 per ton. Exports in February reached 567,975 tons at an average price of $159.50 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets increased to 117,375 tons in February, up from 98,375 tons in January. Inventories of utility pellets fell from 391,764 tons in January to 350,724 tons in February.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 13.31 million tons in February, with all of that capacity listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. Capacity included 2.2 million tons in the East, 10.34 million tons in the South, and 766,120 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.