22 million tons of wood pellets shipped globally

30 May 2019


Global trade of wood pellets jumped more than 21% year-over-year in 2018 when a new record of 22.3 million tons was shipped, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review. The five major pellet-exporting countries (the US, Canada, Vietnam, Latvia, and Russia) have remained the top exporters for over five years. They accounted for about 69% of the world’s export volume in 2018.

Following the ‘big five’ in 2018 were Estonia, Austria, Malaysia, Denmark and Germany, in descending order. Pellet production in the US South continued at a record pace, driven by a European move away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.

From Q1, 2018 to Q4, 2018, exports from the region were up almost 50%, further manifesting US’s role as the world’s largest producer and exporter of wood pellets, reports the NAWFR.

The US ships practically all its pellets to three countries: the UK, Belgium and Denmark. Only a small share of the pellet production in the US is consumed domestically.

Demand for imported pellets in Japan and South Korea continued a three-year growth trend in Q4, 2018 when import volumes reached new record highs of 339,000 tons and 993,000 tons, respectively.