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

July 26, 2019 

In This Week's Pellet Wire:


Executive Director's Notes: July 26, 2019  

Biomass Magazine Recaps 2019 Annual Conference

If you haven’t already read the very good recap of the 2019 Pellet Fuels Annual Conference, I’d certainly urge you to do so. So much is said and discussed at any conference that I find it useful to see what made an impression on someone else. While Anna Simet’s account of the conference was written chronologically, her piece makes it plain, tight fiber supplies, inventory levels, and the producer-retailer relationship were the key themes of this year’s event. I’m thrilled about that and think a business conference that focuses on the state of play in the market is likely to attract a meaningful audience year after year.

Inventory Build 2019

Simet’s reporting begins with a recap from Connor Murphy about the EIA’s data-rich report. The Monthly Densified Biomass Report is now current through April and the latest data shows the spring/summer inventory buildup is well underway. I find myself scrolling immediately to the inventory numbers and see that we added nearly 40,000 tons of inventory in the East during the month and around 12,000 in the West. I got curious and looked back at inventories in April of 2018. This year’s number is a far cry from the 2018 number of just over 150,000 but the table also makes clear the impact carryover inventory has. Inventory levels going into 2018 were around 150,000 and the data suggests that producers weren’t pushing their facilities as hard last year through the month and actually lost ground on their inventory position in the East that month. Conversely, the West added 29,000 tons last April, nearly triple this year’s number. I look forward to seeing the data for May and know that the industry is largely running full tilt with an eye on a heating season that is suddenly just 8-10 weeks away. Before Murphy left the conference this year, I made it clear to him that he has a standing invitation to join our conference agenda so long as the Monthly Densified Biomass Report remains his responsibility.

Retailer Relationships

Simet’s article also reminded me of how important our now traditional retailer panel is to our annual conference, to say nothing of how important retailers are to our organization and our industry as a whole. We’ve just started to scratch the surface as an organization when it comes to maximizing the input of our retailer partners for the good of the sector. We’ve added two retailers to our board and I’m looking forward to this fall’s board meeting in Washington, D.C. to hear more from these important representatives. With an eye on next year’s event and our retailer panel, I’d invite any member to pass along names of retailers who you think would enjoy contributing to that important discussion.

Tim Portz 
Executive Director

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Industry News

Pellet stoves: An efficient and environmentally-friendly way to heat the home (Forbes):

According to, the cost of heating a home accounts for about 42% of the home's utility bill. There are ways however to lower this heating expense using more efficient means–one of these is the pellet stove...

Read Full Article

A rising tide lifts all boats–A writeup of the PFI Annual Conference (Biomass Magazine):

The Pellet Fuels Institute Annual Conference offered fresh perspectives during its discussions this year, featuring panels with a near-split on representatives from the pellet production and pellet appliance manufacturing/retail segments, with much of the content centered on how producers and retailers can work together to increase consumer awareness and satisfaction, and grow the market ...

Read Full Article

Godsend or threat to forests? NC weighs expansion of wood pellet mill (Raleigh News & Observer):

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Pellet Fuels Institute

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