Wood pellets production in the US on the rise | 08 August 2017

The US pellet plants have produced a total of 1,727 million tonnes of pellets during the first quarter of 2017, 5.4% more than in the same period last year.

According to figures of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) at the U.S. Department of Energy, production of pellets for the heating market and of industrial pellets developed along contradictory lines. Whereas production of industrial pellets increased by 11.5% to 1,364 million tonnes in the first three months, production of high quality pellets for the heating market decreased by 12.6% to 362,590 tonnes.

There is a contradictory development also in terms of regional distribution of production of pellets for the heating market. In the east region, the pellet production declined by 36% as compared to the Q1/2017, reaching 157,618 tonnes, while in the west, the production increased by 20%, to 107,186 tonnes.

In the south region, where there is exclusivity for industrial pellets production, the figures of the wood pellets production increased by 24%, to 97,782 tonnes.

As EIA also reported, there are also more considerable changes concerning the mix of raw materials used for the first quarter, as compared to the Q1/2017.

Accordingly, producers increased use of roundwood by 29.4% to 599.300 tonnes, whereas in contrast the use of sawmilling residue ranges from the sawmill industry decreased by 21.0% to 489,400 tonnes.