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

September 4, 2020 

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

From the Director's Desk: 

While it will be months before we know how wood pellet producers fared this month in both production and sales, historical data from the U.S. EIA Monthly Densified Biomass Report makes it clear that September is a critically important month for pellet producers and retailers alike. September is the first month in the calendar year that sees the monthly average eclipse 200,000 tons (211,769). Robust sales continue through the fall and early winter with September through December all boasting well over 200,000 tons. Temperatures across the wood pellet-burning regions of this country are dropping, days are getting notably shorter and consumers are laying in their own inventories of wood pellets for the coming winter.

Our industry has a realistic shot at posting the best wood pellet sales year since the EIA began tracking monthly production, sales and inventory levels. Through May, 2020 sales are tracking slightly ahead of last year, and so far, feared wood fiber shortages just aren’t showing up with any significance in the data. Considering the enormous economic disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic is, I think our industry should feel pretty good about 2020 being in the conversation as a record-breaking year.

Consider also the continuing instances of our producer-members hearing from their retailing customers that wood pellet appliance sales “feel” brisk, which could play a big role in establishing 2020 as a new high-water mark in wood pellet production and sales. While early in the pandemic I opined that perhaps our sector was “corona proof,” I wouldn’t have dared entertain any ideas about a record-breaking year. Wouldn’t it be incredible if, at the conclusion of 2020, we were able to put the coronavirus behind us while simultaneously celebrating a record year?

Hats Off to Vermont

In the last edition of Pellet Wire, we shared a couple of news items regarding the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund’s incentive program to assist residents and businesses with existing coal appliances in changing them out for pellet appliance. The incentives are impressive, and the scenarios the website lays out make it clear that with some thought, 50% or even slightly more of the total cost could be covered. The website includes a link to participating appliance retailers and installers.

For those of you reading in Vermont, please distribute to your own networks.

Tim Portz 
Executive Director

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Have News to Share on Pellet Wire?

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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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Industry News

Vermont offers incentives for switch to advanced wood heating (Biomass Magazine) 

The Vermont Department of Public Service announced Aug. 12 it is offering home and business owners within the state additional cash incentives through its Clean Energy Development Fund to switch from coal to advanced wood heating.

Read Full Article

Supporting Maine’s forest products industry (Piscataquis Observer)

Throughout Maine’s history, our forest products industry has created good-paying jobs, driven local economies and sustained rural communities...

Read Full Article

Effingham Pellets to launch operations in South Carolina (Biomass Magazine) 

Effingham Pellets LLC, a subsidiary of Charles Ingram Lumber Co., on Aug. 20 announced plans to establish operations in Florence County, South Carolina. The company's more than $5.4 million investment is projected to create 10 new jobs.

Read Full Article

Suit targets Woodville plant emissions (Beaumont Enterprise)

Environmental groups and residents in Woodville have filed a citizens’ suit against an industrial plant they say has violated and still is violating state and federal pollution regulations...

Read Full Article

Pine Bluff Gets a Sprucing Up (Arkansas Business) 

Jimmy Dill has been a businessman on Main Street in Pine Bluff for more than four decades, but he’s “never been as excited about Pine Bluff’s future than I am right now.”

The president of Pine Bluff Title Co. made that declaration last week as he listed several projects underway in the city.

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Eastern Canada Fiber Prices in Q2 2020 (Biomass Magazine) 

The economic impacts of the coronavirus continued to challenge the forest industry in Q2 2020. The pulp and paper sector tends to follow economic growth subject to its product lines, whether pressured—newsprint and copy paper—or profitable—tissue and packaging.

Read Full Article

Business as Unusual (Biomass Magazine)  

Spring arrives late in Rusk County, Wisconsin. Situated in the northwestern part of the state, Rusk County is rural, heavily wooded and home to Indeck Energy Wood Pellets, an important Upper Midwest producer of home heating, and increasingly, barbeque grilling and smoking pellets. 

Read Full Article

Pellet Fuels Institute

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