US and Canada Heating Wood Pellet Exports: Sept & June 2016

More good news in the fast-growing North American wood pellet industry; wood pellets used for energy exports are up so far in 2016 according to Statistics Canada and the US Census.

Canada and US Heating Wood Pellet Manufacturing Industry: 3Q 2016

An industry poised to grow by orders of magnitude over the next ten and twenty years, wood pellet production and sales globally starting to show a picture of what to expect in that near-term future. Data out just this week by Statistics Canada and the US Census illustrates how Canadian and US wood pellet exports are shaping up.

Wood Pellets: Globally


Global wood pellet production has steadily increased from 2 million metric tons in 2000 to some 25 million metric tons in 2014.

The EU-28 were by far the world’s largest producer of wood pellets, producing some 13.5 million metric tons of wood pellets in 2014, according to Statista, The Statistics Portal. Increased fossil fuel prices in 2005 have stimulated the demand for wood pellet heating in the EU and North America. The wood pellet market is expected to reach 38 million metric tons in the EU by 2025. Due to high consumption of wood pellets in the EU, most European countries also import a larger share of resources from other countries. Denmark imported over US$425 million worth of wood pellets in 2013. In 2015, the EU produced 10.7 million metric tons of wood pellets.


Markets such as those in Austria and Sweden are already well-established but continue to grow; other new markets are also emerging across Europe. As of 2014, the EU-28 produced some 13.5 million metric tons of wood pellets, accounting for about half of the global production. In comparison, North America produced some 8 million metric tons .

That same year, Germany was by far the largest wood pellet producer, accumulating 2.35 million tons. Like Germany, Austria and Italy use wood pellets primarily for heat production in residential areas while other countries like the United Kingdom and Netherlands use wood pellets primarily for power generation in the industrial sector.

In Sweden and Denmark, wood pellet consumption in both sectors is common. Due to high volumes of consumption in the region, replacing raw resources with feedstocks is of increasing necessity. Residual wood and agricultural biomass for pellet production are common types of feedstock bases.

SOURCE: Statistics Canada
SOURCE: Statistics Canada



Despite economic development and growing population, the total amount of forested land in the US has remained largely unchanged throughout the past century.

Historically, the US has been both the largest producer and the largest consumer of woody biomass in the world. The US share of global wood product production peaked at 28 per cent in 1998 and has since fallen to below 20 per cent.

The use of wood for energy in the US was 2,336 PJ in 2014 or about 146 million dry tonnes of wood. This represents 2.2 per cent of total energy and 23 per cent of renewable energy use. While this was a 2 per cent increase from 2013, it is still 18 per cent below the 1985 peak. While most of the increase is coming from increasing pelletization and generation of bioelectricity, the majority of the wood use for energy is still for home heating. Approximately 2.1 per cent of US households are heated primarily with wood, and another 7.7 per cent use it as a supplemental heating source.

SOURCE: Statistics Canada
SOURCE: Statistics Canada