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2018 a strong year for global pellet markets - FutureMetrics

In terms of growth and pricing, 2018 was one of the strongest years in quite some time for global pellets markets according to FutureMetrics LLC. The US-based pellet industry consultants project that the global pellet trade will have increased to 23.8 million tonnes in 2018 up from 18.9 million tonnes in 2017.

Seth Walker, Senior Bioenergy Economist and Director of Business Development at FutureMetrics, here seen during the 2018 CMT Biomass Pellet Trade & Power Conference in Tokyo, Japan.

In the latest issue of the Pellet Market Quarterly released on December 26, FutureMetrics’ economist Seth Walker notes that from 2014 to 2016 the growth in global wood pellet trade slowed to 7 percent per annum, accompanied by a low pricing environment and limited capacity expansion.

In 2017 market conditions greatly improved and global trade increased 13 percent to 18.9 million tonnes. That market improvement continued in full force through 2018 as the growth in global pellet trade accelerated to 26 percent.

FutureMetrics projects 2018 pellet trade will have increased to 23.8 million tonnes in 2018 up from 18.9 million tonnes in 2017. That growth is primarily fueled by increased demand in the UK, Denmark, South Korea, and Japan, said Seth Walker.

North American heating markets also remain strong. Pellet inventories heading into the 2018-2019 heating season were at their lowest level in several years and producers worry more about shortages than being able to sell their pellets.

While the recent fall in fossil fuel prices leaves some room for worry, producers should be in for a very strong winter, Walker remarked.

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