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

November 10, 2023

From the Director’s Desk: Happy Veteran's Day, Reviewing August EIA Data, O'Malley Wood Pellets Hosts PFI

Happy Veterans Day

I wanted to offer my personal thank you to any veterans or family members of veterans to kick off this issue of the Pellet Wire. I know there are veterans working in the greater wood pellet and wood processing sector. As a nod to my favorite veteran, my father, I’ll offer his traditional Veterans Day toast, “To those that protect us and our way of life, cheers.”

Reviewing August EIA Data

August Monthly Densified Biomass Report, by the numbers (August 2022 in parentheses).


East - 98,387 (111,498)
South - 22,349 (16,326)
West - 43,235 (36,966)
U.S. Total163,971 (164,790)


East - 123,459 (126,965)
South - 28,336 (28,309)
West - 36,262 (43,979)
U.S. Total188,057 (199,253)


East - 155,101 (138,760)
South - 44,497 (49,039)
West - 54,150 (68,538)
U.S. Total253,748 (256,337)


The first data point I looked up when the August numbers were published was the inventory position in the West. The region has been lagging behind last year’s number significantly since January when inventory slumped to just over 15,000 tons. In July, the region added 16,000 tons to get to 55,000, a more comfortable number with an eye on potentially adding another 10,000 to 15,000 in August. August is hit or miss on adding inventory in the West. Adding this August wasn’t to be and inventory actually fell to 54,150. Interestingly, last year saw the West’s inventory position drop 18,000 tons in August, which gives this year’s number some context. Producers there know the score and have been hard into the production throttle since June, with July representing the third straight month with over 40,000 tons (43,235) produced. I suspect if fiber availability can support it, upcoming data drops will show that production in the West reached 40,000 tons in September and October too.

Conversely, in the East, producers eased back on production (98,387 tons this year compared to 111,498 tons last year) comfortable with their summertime inventory levels. The month closed at 155,101, about 10% higher than last year’s number. Sales in the region continue to lag last year’s pace finishing August at 637,708 tons compared to 655,072 tons last year.

—Tim Portz
 Executive Director

Save the Date 2024

Photo of the Week:

Visiting O'Malley Wood Pellets: On a sunny Monday, PFI Board Member Matt O’Malley welcomed fellow PFI members into his pallet and wood pellet manufacturing facility in Tappahannock, Virginia.

(L to R): T. Portz, F. Scorzetti, M. O’Malley, B. Hoskins, K. Smeltz, B. Jordan, F. Kvietok, B. Lisle, K. Lisle. 

Photo credit: Pellet Fuels Institute

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 (now with August data)

As of August 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 2,504 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 November 4, 2023

View Data

North American Wood Fiber Pricing and Demand

Wood fiber markets are largely retreating across North America as firms shutter less competitive operations. In the Pacific Northwest, WestRock’s closure of its Tacoma, Washington, pulp mill adds to Packaging Corp. of America’s Wallula, Washington, curtailment and the continued shuttering of Cosmopolis. In Eastern Canada, Domtar is closing its Espanola, Ontario, pulp mill. Western Canada continues to struggle with fiber availability, and Paper Excellence extending the curtailment at their Crofton, British Columbia, mill adds to the list of regional closures and curtailments. The South is losing WestRock’s pulp mill in Charleston, South Carolina, Evergreen Packaging’s Canton, North Carolina, pulp mill, and a Roseburg particleboard mill in Taylorsville, Mississippi.

Read Article

EIA: 1.77 Million Households to Heat Primarily With Wood This Winter

The number of U.S. households that use wood as a primary heating fuel is expected to fall by 1 percent this winter, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Winter Fuels Outlook 2023-24, which was released on Oct. 11. 

Read Article

Good News: Maine Heating Prices Stable Heading Into the Winter

Oil prices are down from previous highs and propane inventories are strong, boding well for Mainers as winter approaches, energy experts said at a recent gathering in Portland.


“We’re in a good position as we’re heading into this coming winter,” Charlie Agnew, director of energy services at Competitive Energy Services, said at the Oct. 24 seminar organized by the consulting group.

Read Article

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Have News to Share in the Pellet Wire?

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


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