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

August 18, 2023

From the Director’s Desk: Your Average August - Predictions for this August, JOIN THE FALL FLY-IN - PFI Fall Fly-In - Tuesday, October 17 - Wednesday, October 18  

Your Average August – Predictions for this August

As summer winds down, the home heating season winds up. The EIA’s Monthly Densified Biomass Fuel Report makes it clear that wood pellet sales jump significantly in August, the month serving as a springboard of sorts for the three biggest sales months of the year (September, October and November). Average sales for the month are 196,262, but August is also capable of well over 200,000 tons. In 2020, producers sold 224,170 tons. Performance against monthly averages has been a mix this year, with sales lagging the average in the first quarter then bettering the average in April and May. I suspect August 2023 producers will outperform the average but fall short of setting a new record for the month.

Production numbers for August range from 81,078 (2016) to 195,822 (2019) with an average of 157,505 tons. Producers have been bullish with their production throttles this year, eclipsing monthly production averages by over 20% since February. I suspect August’s production numbers, like the sales numbers, will easily top the average but fall short of the monthly record, 180,000 tons. It wouldn't surprise me if the numbers ere good enough to make it the 2nd highest August production ever. 

I suspect producers will be encouraged towards higher output by the trifecta of higher sales, lower inventory and strong prices that this year’s numbers are revealing so far. Through May, total U.S. inventory is off last year’s mark (300,511) by 100,000 tons. While we’ll have to see what kind of ground producers may have made up in June and July. Last year, producers added 20,000 tons to inventory totals in those two months and I suspect this year will reveal that producers, if the feedstock was available, were interested in putting more than that on the ground this summer. I don’t know that the math supports producers catching up to the 319,000 ton high water mark from last year, nor if that number is of interest to them, but I suspect we’ll see data that indicates producers wanted to see inventory above 250,000 tons before September.

Join the Fall Fly-In! PFI Fall Fly-In - Tuesday, October 17 - Wednesday, October 18

There are still spots available to join the 2023 PFI Fall Fly-In. Members interested in sharing their story with policymakers can book rooms at the fly-in motel here. It isn’t actually a motel, but rather a hotel in Georgetown.

The schedule has been built to accommodate folks that can only be away one evening. Our fly-in activities will begin at 3:00 PM on Tuesday, October 17th, and conclude around 3:30 or 4:00 PM on Wednesday, October 18th, providing people with an opportunity to book an evening flight out of DC on Wednesday night.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Conference Presentations Available on PFI Website

We’ve added three PowerPoint presentations that were shared at this year’s annual conference to the PFI website. These data-rich presentations will be stored in the Industry Data section of the website and are available here.

—Tim Portz
 Executive Director

Save the Date 2024

Photo of the Week:

Fall’s First Blush: It’s about that time to start obsessing about first frosts, heating degrees and the PFI HDD Index.

Map Credit: 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 (now with May data)

As of May 2023, the monthly data collection included 77 operating manufacturers of densified biomass fuel. These manufacturers had a total production capacity of 12.62 million tons per year and collectively had an equivalent of 2,479 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, 2022 to August 12, 2023

View Data

Net Zero Advocates Wrong on Wood Pellets 

In mid-July, a bill initially introduced in February by Rep. Simon Cataldo to the 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was heard by the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee. The bill, officially H.3151, offers a definition of “net zero” building initially called for when the Commonwealth established the Office of Energy Resources and outlined its powers and duties.

Read Article

When Small-Scale Pelletizing Makes Sense

Since more and more countries are adopting sustainability and renewable energy policies, the wood pellet industry has experienced rapid growth rates. Pellets function as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels for electricity generation and heating. In recent years, we have repeatedly seen new records set for maximum capacities, which have now reached the seven-figure territory. But smaller productions can also contribute to the energy supply, especially at the local and regional level.

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The Revolution Inside

As the biomass pellet industry began to take off, it was clear that pelletizing wood was not going to be the same as pelletizing anything else. The consistency and properties of wood cause the pellet mill to run rougher, and requires significantly more power to achieve throughput than most other materials.  

Read Article

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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