EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 840,000 tons in December

By Erin Voegele | April 13, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 770,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in December, with sales reaching 840,000 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 84 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 84 manufacturers surveyed for December had a total combined production capacity of 11.85 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,333 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 1.46 million tons of raw biomass feedstock in December, produced 770,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 840,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 165,606 tons of heating pellets and 611,440 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in December reached 197,156 tons at an average price of $174.24 per ton. Exports in December reached 648,078 tons at an average price of $178.17 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets fell to 68,640 tons in December, down from 97,224 tons in November. Inventories of utility pellets also fell, from 413,410 tons in November to tons in 320,026 tons in December.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 12.02 million tons in December, with 12.01 million tons of that capacity listed as currently operating or temporarily not in operation. Capacity included 2.19 million tons in the East, 9.01 million tons in the South, and 814,820 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.