Global wood pellet production
Wood pellet manufacturing has grown rapidly since 2000. Thus, wood pellet production increased from 1.7 million tons in 2000 to more than 19 million tons in 2014 in the EU. The EU countries produced a half of the world pellet production, the rest is made in North America, Russia and Asia. Among the European Union countries Germany is the largest wood pellet producer, followed by Sweden, Latvia and Austria. The largest EU pellet consumers are the United Kingdom and Italy, followed by Sweden, Denmark and Germany. It should be added that three-quarters of the pellets produced worldwide are consumed in the EU. Heating markets are self-sufficient, while power stations should buy wood granules for industrial use on the world pellet market.
According to the EU 2020 renewable energy policy, the European pellet industry expects continued strong growth. The experts claim that additional demand for woody biomass could vary from 105 to 305 million tons by 2020. And the additional supply could reach even 400 million tons, but in case of recycling woody biomass and creating special energy plantations.
EU wood pellet prices
At the same time, since 2000 wood pellet prices have grown considerably in Europe and are still increasing. The EU wood pellet prices depend on the price of imported wood granules, especially it concerns industrial pellet prices. For instance, from March 2014 to February 2015 the wood pellets imported from the USA have become 30 euro per ton more expensive due to the depreciation of the euro. Moreover, increasing the VAT for pellets in some EU countries also has an influence on the pellet price raising.
The average prices for wood granules in the largest EU wood pellet producers (Germany and Austria) are described below. Noteworthy, the German and the Austrian wood pellet markets have similar indicators. Thus, as of September of 2015, the average wood pellet price is 22.92 euro per kg and 3.85 euro per 15 kg sack in Austria. In comparison with 2014, the price for wood pellets declined (-5.7%) in 2015. The same situation has seen in Germany, where the average wood pellet price was at the level of 23.3 euro per kg, what was -6.8% in comparison with the similar period of 2014. The analytics explain such a price falling by the oil price decreasing on the world market.
Pellet Indexes for industrial and commercial wood pellets in Europe
As of September of 2015, on the Scandinavian stock market commercial and industrial wood pellets are traded at the price of 132.5 euro per tone (Nordic Pellet Index PIX). The Index is concentrating on commercial and and industrial use of wood pellets in Nordic countries and other Baltic Sea region.
Commercial Heat Austria traded wood pellets for commercial usage at the price of 203 euro per tone. In comparison, the Pellet Price Index PPI 06 was registered at the level of 128.90 euro per tone.
PIX Continental represented the commercial wood pellet price in Central Europe. As of September of 2015, according to the Index the industrial pellet price in Central Europe was 204.5 euro per tone.
Argus Wood Pellet Index (cif ARA) was registered at the level of 162 $/t in September of 2015.
So, despite the fact that the number of sold wood pellet boilers and stoves decreased in the EU in 2014, the experts claim that pellet consumption will increase in the future, as the EU decided to reach 20% the renewable energy by 2020. The price for industrial wood pellets will rise for the same reason. Among other causes that could affect the wood pellet price are instability of exchange rates on the European market, value-added tax increasing, decreasing oil prices etc. But, it should be added that pellet price is one of the most stable on the fuel market.