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

By Erin Voegele | September 13, 2021

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 760,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in May, with sales reaching 670,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the August edition of EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuels Report, which contains data for May. The EIA collected data from 80 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 80 manufacturers surveyed for May had a total combined production capacity of 12.95 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,334 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 780,000 tons of raw biomass feedstock in May, produced 760,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 670,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 140,019 tons of heating pellets and 621,156 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in May reached 132,398 tons at an average price of $181.63 per ton. Exports in May reached 541,392 tons at an average price of $169.03 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets increased to 279,022 tons in May, up from 236,534 tons in April. Inventories of utility pellets fell to 275,493 tons in May, down from 317,691 tons in April.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 13 million tons in May, with all of that capacity listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. Capacity included 2.03 million tons in the East, 10.2 million tons in the South, and 766,000 tons in the West.