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

November 12, 2021

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

From the Director's Desk:

Happy Veterans Day

To all those who are serving, have served or love somebody that is a veteran, Happy Veterans Day. An enduring memory of mine is watching the Eldora, Iowa American Legion color guard bring in the colors at our all-school assembly. My favorite veteran says it is a day to honor all those who “protect us and our way of life”.

Paging Old Man Winter

This past weekend marked the official end of Daylight-Saving Time which always feels like an unofficial beginning of the home heating season. So far, it feels like Old Man Winter hasn’t received the memo. Prime pellet burning geographies across the country are lagging long term norms when looking specifically at Heating Degree Days, the demand driver in this business.

City Year to Date HDD
(change from norm)
Portland, ME down 34%
Grand Rapids, MI down 41%
Lewiston, MT down 31%
Harrisburg, PA down 49%
Rapid City, SD down 26%
Spokane, WA down 22%
Baker, OR down 8%
Wausau, WI down 46%

Of the locations listed above only two are even trending ahead of last year (Spokane, WA and Baker, OR). Admittedly we are still early in the season and plenty of time remains in our prime season to make up for the slow start, but for now the numbers suggest we can likely rule out an early start to pellet burning season.

That said (November Surge) …

Our board gathered in Austin, Texas last week and producers indicated that shipments had begun to gather some momentum towards the end of October and early November. We’ll have to wait until mid-February to have a clear picture supported by data, but the chatter in Austin was positive regarding pellet sales.

It was great to reconvene as a board in Austin. After nearly 16 months of Zoom calls, the board has met face-to-face twice since June and are scheduled to gather for our spring board meeting at the International Biomass Conference & Expo. These face-to-face gatherings are vital to expanding upon the relationships between our board members and building a unified and cohesive membership.

Our producer board members confirmed that labor, freight and inflation continue to occupy the thoughts of most plant management teams. Still, optimism ruled the day and producers are excited to compete in a heating-fuel marketplace in this era of high fossil fuel prices. Can you hear us Old Man Winter? Awaken from your slumber.

Tim Portz
Executive Director

Photo of the Week: Courtesy of Frank Scorzetti

Be Safe Out There: Hunting season is here and that finds many of us in the woods pursuing deer, pheasants, ducks and grouse. Frank Scorzetti (ProAmpac) is pictured here (second from front) with his family on a recent outing. I wish you all a safe and fruitful season in your neck of the woods. If you think of it, send along a photo. Bonus points (and certain inclusion in a future Pellet Wire) for any picture that also includes wood pellets or a wood pellet appliance.

Send Us Photos! Help us build a collection of photos of our members, their pellets mills, and product! Send images to Tim Portz at [email protected].

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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, promotions, or other news.

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Pellet Fuels Institute

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