Catch up with PFI in this issue of the Pellet Wire!

January 12, 2024

From the Director’s Desk: October EIA Data Dive, Winter Shows Up, Membership Renewal Season is Here

October EIA Data Dive

Last week’s October update to the Monthly Densified Biomass Report revealed that after a stronger start to 2023 and a lack of early-fall cold weather dampened sales in the early part of the 2023-24 heating season, the year is looking more and more like a repeat of the ‘meh’ 2022 year.

The highlights (average in parentheses):

U.S. Total Sales – 220,832 tons (237,599)
U.S. Total Production – 185,593 tons (168,185)
U.S. Total Inventory – 202,668 tons (248,523)

Some notables:

  • We’ve been watching the inventory levels for the Western region after bottoming out at just 12,682 tons in March. The region finished October at 46,467 tons, right in line with last year’s 44,994 tons. Producers in the West continue to produce at levels significantly higher than last year. To date, producers in the West have produced 44,000 more tons of wood pellets (382,516 tons) than 2022 (338,538 tons).
  • Not surprisingly, October saw each region achieve its highest sales totals of the year. 128,647 tons in the East, 32,544 in the South and 59,641 tons in the West.
  • Wholesale pellet prices remain strong. The East and the West both reported wholesale pellet price averages over $235.

Winter Shows Up

This week saw a major winter storm roll across the Midwest, the Great Lakes, and the Northeast, dumping snow and ice with a polar vortex predicted to flow in behind all of that. This weeks’ Photo of the Week is the 8-14 Day Temperature Outlook for January 15-21 from the Climate Prediction Center. It suggests colder than normal temperatures can be expected across much of the country. In this week’s Pellet Fuels Institute Heating Degree Day Index, only Portland, Maine and Wausau, Wisconsin are more than 10% ahead of last year’s accumulated HDD pace. It will be interesting to see if other markets surge ahead of last year with this spate of cold air.

Membership Renewal Season is Here

With the close of the 2023 calendar year behind us, the organization is now squarely in renewal season. Thank you to those producers who have already renewed. Renewal can be completed on the Pellet Fuels Institute website or by calling the Pellet Fuels Institute Office. Membership tiers are determined by a three-year rolling average of wood pellet sales so you’ll need to have 2023 sales numbers available to execute on your renewal. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the office with any challenges or questions!

—Tim Portz
 Executive Director


Save the Date 2024

Photo of the Week:

At Long Last: After a mild start to the 2023-24 heating season, it appears that with the calendar flip winter has finally decided to get going. A blast of cold air is predicted to drive temperatures in the Upper Midwest to below zero territory early next week.

Photo Source: Climate Prediction Center, National Weather Service 

Send Us Your Photos! Help us build a collection of photos of our members, their pellet mills, and products! Send images to Tim Portz at [email protected].

Industry News

EIA Monthly Densified Biomass Report

As of October 2023, the monthly data collection included 76 operating manufacturers of densified biomass fuel. These manufacturers had a total production capacity of 12.60 million tons per year and collectively had an equivalent of 2,487 full-time employees.

View Data

Heating Degree Days Data

Heating Degree Day Data Weekly Summary
Climate Prediction Center-NCEP-NWS-NOAA
Accumulations are from July 1, 2023 to January 6, 2024

View Data

FutureMetrics Model Helps Broiler Operators Compare The Economics of White and Black Wood Pellets

FutureMetrics LLC on Jan. 2 published a new white paper and accompanying dashboard that serves as a decision-making model to help power boiler operators who are considering a switch from coal to wood pellets determine if white or black pellets are the optimum choice. 

Read Article

Report: Taiwan Power Producer To Open Tender In 2024 For 1.7M Metric Tons of Wood Pellets

Taiwan is considering the use of wood pellets to help boost its use of renewable energy, according to a report filed with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network. The opportunity could translate into a $300 million opportunity for wood pellet producers. 

Read Article

Heating Fuel Prices

The Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) conducts a weekly survey of heating fuel prices, obtained from fuel retailers statewide. This survey provides the current Maine cash prices, in dollars, rounded to the nearest penny. Prices are typically updated by Friday. 

Read Article

A Year After Record Heating Oil Price Spike, Heat Pump Demand Hums Along in Maine

A year after the war in Ukraine drove record-high fossil fuel prices for winter heating in oil-dependent Maine, demand for efficient electric heat pumps remains steady despite new challenges. 

Read Article

PFI Career Center

Check out open positions, post your resumé, or post a job.





Fuel Availability

Are you a PFI member, pellet manufacturer, or distributor that has fuel available? Email the PFI Office to have your listing updated or added to the PFI website.

Become a Member

Not a member yet? Learn more about how PFI can work for you and join today!




Join a PFI Committee

Follow PFI on X, and Link with us on LinkedIn!

We’d like to connect and interact with PFI members and anyone else involved in pellet fuels production! 

Here’s how you can help us build our online community:

  1. Follow us on X, and LinkedIn!
  2. Encourage your colleagues and other business associates to follow us.
  3. Email Tim Portz at [email protected] news or other ideas to post on PFI’s social media.

Join a PFI Committee

We welcome and encourage all interested PFI members to get involved in our committees. There are many opportunities to help steer the association. No matter where your expertise and interests lie, we have a committee that will suit you. Help us plan our next conference, shape our policy agenda, lead communications outreach, or grow the PFI Standards Program.

Visit PFI's Committee Page for more information.

Have News to Share in the Pellet Wire?

We would love to feature your company's news in a future Pellet Wire! Let us be the first to know about your company's recent developments, and we will share them with the broader pellet fuels industry.

Please consider the Pellet Wire for staff announcements, new hires, promotions, and retirements. 

Please get in touch with Tim Portz via email at [email protected] with information on your company's growth, job openings, or other news.

Pellet Fuels Institute

[email protected]
(206) 209-5277