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

December 1, 2023

From the Director’s Desk: Predicting Our September

Predicting Our September

Today at noon the EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Report will be updated with September data. Because of the production time required to generate the Pellet Wire, there is no good opportunity to react to the data and maintain our publication schedule. In consideration of that, let’s have a little fun and offer some educated guesses and allow all Pellet Wire readers to do a side-by-side comparison when the data comes out. Historically, September sales have eclipsed 200,000 tons. The monthly average is 210,000 tons and sales have failed to reach 200,000 tons just twice (2016 and 2021). July and August sales this year have failed to achieve their historic averages. I’ll split the difference and predict that September sales will eclipse 200,000 tons, but fall short of the 210,000 averages for the month. Let’s make it 205,000 tons.

Total U.S. production averaged 147,000 tons in September. Using just the last three years, the average climbed to around 160,000 tons. Last year, producers manufactured 157,917 tons. Production totals in July and August, like sales totals, have lagged slightly behind prior year totals. I remember September as unseasonably warm in most parts of the country and I suspect purchase orders from retailers were still stuck in the mud a bit. Looking at inventory positions in August, I would say that only producers in the West were uncomfortable with their inventory positions and really leaned into the production throttle. Producers in the West produced at about 110% of last year’s numbers through the summer and I suspect that September will reveal they maintained that same output. In the East, producers closed August with more inventory on the ground (155,101 tons) than the same time the year prior. I think a slight modulation in production will show up there balancing out the increased production I suspect we will see in the West. I predict 105,000 tons in the East, 44,000 tons in the West (a high-water mark for the year), and 20,000 tons in the South for a total of 169,000 tons.

—Tim Portz
 Executive Director

Save the Date 2024

Photo of the Week:

Yes, Les is Holding a Lollipop: This photograph from the 2023 PFI Fly-In finds members of the fly-in contingent sneaking a little lunch into their busy days. PFI member Les Otten (Maine Energy Systems) finished his lunch with what he described as his first lollipop in four decades. Les’s northeast contingent completed the most meetings of the trip so if he needed a little sugar boost, then by all means… (pictured counterclockwise from lower left: L. Otten (Maine Energy Systems) F. Scorzetti (ProAmpac), J. Parrott (Maine Energy Systems), B. Lisle (Lignetics), S. Cummings (Barefoot Pellet), S. Elliot (Pacific Coast Pellets), K. Lisle (Lignetics), F. Kvietok (Lignetics).

Photo credit: Tim Portz

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 September 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 25, 2023

View Data

Enviva Takes Steps To Improve Its Financial Position

Enviva Inc. released third quarter financial results on Nov. 9, reporting a net loss of $85.2 million despite a 14 percent increase in metric tons sold. The company also announced leadership changes and discussed efforts to renegotiate contracts.

Read Article

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