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

December 14, 2022

From the Director's Desk: Colder than Last Year, for now, Your Average December, Happy Holidays from the Pellet Fuels Institute

Colder than Last Year, for now

This morning I woke my teenage sons to help me shovel what has to be the heaviest, densest half-inch of ‘snow’ to ever fall in Minnesota. The Twin Cities area hovered right around freezing, just above it, for most of the night and the result was the kind of winter precipitation that has no fans. Tonight, the mercury is projected to fall far enough under the freezing mark that snow, not slush accumulates on our driveway, perhaps as much as 6 or 7 inches. Meanwhile, our friends in Massena, New York are bracing for 12-18 inches of snow but snow with warmer temps. Thursday’s forecasts (yesterday) are calling for the upper 30s. Massena isn’t alone with snow falling on balmier temps. PFI HDD Index community Lebanon, New Hampshire is expecting 3-6 inches but with moderate temperatures in the upper 30s in the walk-up to the holiday. Similarly Buffalo, New York will see off-and-on precipitation over the next 10 days but with moderate temps hovering right around freezing. UPDATE: The Twin Cities area received another 3 inches of wet heavy snow last night (Wednesday) and the bottom is forecast to fall out of the thermostat during the holiday week. It sounds like we won’t be alone (see Photo of the Week). 

Your Average December 

Here’s a look at wood pellet production, sales, and inventory numbers in December:

Average December Production: 132,589 tons
Average December Sales: 188,664 tons 
Average December Inventory Position: 192,618 tons
Highest December Production: 165,606 tons (2019) 
Highest December Sales: 216,915 tons (2016)
Highest December Inventory Position: 443,338 tons (2016) 

December is a curious month in the arc of the home heating season. The month sits squarely between the late fall months when pellet consumers lay in their fuel inventory for the first half of the year, but well before a deep winter would deplete those inventories, necessitating the late season buy that can juice a good a year. Last December was particularly woeful at just 144,315 tons in sales an all-time low for the month. We won’t know until March, but I suspect this winter storm and a subsequent cold snap will offer a nice rebound from last year’s disappointment. 

Happy Holidays from the Pellet Fuels Institute

I hope this Pellet Wire finds you and yours in good health and stead. Incredibly, we find ourselves putting the final touches on 2022. It feels like the year just got started. I wish you all a safe and festive holiday season. We’ll wrap the year in the next and final Pellet Wire of 2022, offering some commentary on the year that was and the year to come. 

—Tim Portz
 Executive Director

Save the Date 2023

PFI 2022 Annual Conference


Photo of the Week:

Forecast map
---Delete this cell---

Here Comes Santa Clause: The Climate Prediction Center’s 8-14 temperature outlook should have wood pellet producers smiling. Christmas day will find most of the country mired in a cold snap.

Source: National Weather Service, Climate Prediction Center

 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 tim@pelletheat.

Industry News

EIA Monthly Densified Biomass Report (now with August data)

Table 1. Densified biomass fuel manufacturing facilities in the United States by state, region, and capacity, August 2022

Read Article

Heating Degree Day Data

Heating Degree Day Data Weekly Summary
Climate Prediction Center-NCEP-NWS-NOAA
Accumulations are from Jul  1, 2022 TO Dec 17, 2022

Read Article

Maine heating oil prices dip from record highs

The price of home heating oil in Maine is falling from record highs.

Read Article

California group begins development of 2 industrial pellet plants

Golden State Natural Resources, a California-based nonprofit public benefit corporation, is developing two industrial wood pellet projects within the state as part of its effort to increase forest resiliency and reduce the risk of catastrophic forest fires. 

Read Article

King, Collins introduce BTU Tax Credit Expansion Act

Sens. Angus King, I-Maine, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Dec. 9 introduced The BTU Tax Credit Expansion Act, which aims to increase the maximum rebate for biomass stoves and boilers from $2,000 to $8,000.

Read Article

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Pellet Fuels Institute

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