EIA: Densified biomass fuel sales reach 790,000 tons in March

By Erin Voegele | July 10, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 770,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in March, with sales reaching 790,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the June edition of EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuels Report, which contains data for March. 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 March had a total combined production capacity of 11.86 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,192 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 1.41 million tons of raw biomass feedstock in March, produced 770,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 790,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 158,633 tons of heating pellets and 613,798 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in March reached 131,840 tons at an average price of $163.40 per ton. Exports in March reached 655,441 tons at an average price of $167.92 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets increased to 136,575 tons in March, up from 86,146 tons in February. Inventories of utility pellets fell from 377,747 tons in February to 318,746 tons in March.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 12.02 million tons in March, 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.