Image

Asia now accounts for 1/3 of wood pellet trade

17 May 2023

Worldwide trade of wood pellets remained practically unchanged year-on -year about 29 million tons in 2022. This year was the first time shipments failed to rise year-on -year since 2017, when wood pellets became a globally traded commodity. Despite the minimal global volume change, there were some noteworthy shifts in trade flows on a country-level basis in 2022.

Asia, represented by Japan and South Korea, has continued to grow import volumes at the expense of European buyers and, in the 4Q/22, accounted for one-third of the world’s import volume, up from only 18% five years ago. Note. More recent data is available on the new forest products market platform WoodMarket Prices at ResourceWise.

Demand for biomass, including wood pellets, has increased remarkably quickly in Japan, from 1.0 million tons in 2018 to 4.4 million tons in 2022. The upward trend is expected to continue, and Japan will be the fastest-growing market in the world in the next 5-10 years. Vietnam is currently the primary pellet supplier to Japan, followed by Canada and the US. With Japanese power companies writing long-term offtake agreements with larger suppliers in North America, the most considerable pellet supply expansion in the coming years will likely be in the US and Canada.

Pellet producers in the US South have historically shipped all their production to European power companies, and as late as 2021, there were no exports from the US to Asia. However, in 2022 Asian demand picked up, and in the 1Q/23, 10% of the total volume from the Southern states was shipped to Japan. This recent and sudden change in trade flow will likely continue to expand, with increasing long-term sales to Japanese power companies and a declining share of European shipments.

Source: Wood Resources International

Read More
Image

FIEA wood residues conference: time for action

Low carbon economies, extreme weather events, and building resilient domestic supply chains are critical issues in 2024 and beyond. In New Zealand, this has created opportunities for the forestry sector, including significant investments in forest residues. Harvesting regulations are mandating more wood be collected from the forest ...
Read more
Image

Successful trials of remote-controlled wood chip scraper

Nippon Paper, trucking company Iwakuni Sangyo Unyu successfully trial remote-controlled robot that scrapes wood chips in hold of wood-chip carrier at Iwakuni mill; scraping robot aims to address safety, workforce shortage in wood-chip scraping operations Through the development of the ...
Read more
Image

When it all falls down

This video tells the story of how New Zealand Forest Managers (NZFM) in Turangi, New Zealand dealt with a 3.4million + ton wind blow event in the central north island. In the video everything from before the cyclone in Feb ...
Read more
Image

NZ$300 million torrefied wood pellet planned

Plans to build New Zealand’s first plant to produce low emissions fossil free fuel to replace coal have moved a step closer with the signing of an agreement to lease a site at Kawerau. Australian listed company Foresta has announced the signing of ...
Read more
Image

Blenheim company turning wood chips into graphite

In New Zealand, a Blenheim company is turning wood chips and sawdust into graphite to be used in EV batteries. CarbonScape was founded in 2006 – with a focus on making carbon products using waste biomass like wood chips to ...
Read more
Image

Cheese from trees: Fonterra running on wood biomass

Fonterra’s Stirling manufacturing site is celebrating becoming the Co-op’s first manufacturing site in the South Island to get off coal and the first site to be running on 100% renewable thermal energy.  Moving to wood biomass means a reduction of 18,500 tonnes ...
Read more
Image

99% of Northland’s energy could be met through biomass

A new report, published by EECA (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority), shows the significant role currently unutilised, forestry residues could play – as the region reduces its reliance on fossil fuels in favour of renewable energy. Up to 99% of Northland’s ...
Read more
Image

NZ forestry industry establishing pan sector body

Ten organisations have signed an accord establishing as a pan sector body. Called the NZ Forest & Wood Sector Forum (NZFWSF), NZ sector associations will engage on issues of common interest or concern to the national industry and act as a ...
Read more
Image

Wood biomass boiler swings into action

Fonterra’s NZ Waitoa manufacturing site is now using around 50% less coal as its new wood biomass boiler swings into action. Waitoa is the third Fonterra manufacturing site to reduce coal in 2023, as part of the Co-op’s plan to ...
Read more