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

By Erin Voegele | October 16, 2020

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently released data showing U.S. manufacturers produced approximately 730,000 tons of densified biomass fuel in June, with sales reaching 670,000 tons.

The data was released as part of the September edition of EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuels Report, which contains data for June. The EIA collected data from 83 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 83 manufacturers surveyed for June had a total combined production capacity of 11.8 million tons per year and collectively had the equivalent of 2,224 full-time employees.

Respondents purchased 1.4 million tons of raw biomass feedstock in June, produced 730,000 tons of densified biomass fuel and sold 670,000 tons of densified biomass fuel. Production included 177,845 tons of heating pellets and 554,993 tons of utility pellets.

Domestic sales of densified biomass fuel in June reached 185,327 tons at an average price of $172.58 per ton. Exports in June reached 627,529 tons at an average price of $159.44 per ton.

Inventories of premium/standard pellets increased to 208,440 tons in June, up from 199,474 tons in May. Inventories of utility pellets fell from 361,647 tons in May to 268,858 tons in June.

Data gathered by the EIA shows that total U.S. densified biomass fuel capacity reached 12.01 million tons in June, 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 807,320 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.