Prices for woody biomass, whether it was sawmill by-products, forest residues or urban wood waste, wee higher in Q3/10 than the previous quarter in most regions throughout the US.

The Northwest saw the biggest increase: forest biomass prices (delivered) were up 19% from the Q2/10, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review (NAWFR).

Over the past few years there has been an expansion of the biomass-consuming sector in the Northwest both of stand-alone facilities and for energy plants in conjunction with pulp mills and sawmills.

This development has resulted in a decline in open-market volumes of sawmill biomass (bark and wood fibre residues) and there is starting to be an increased need to source additional volumes of higher-cost forest biomass and even urban recycled wood from the larger metropolitan area in both Oregon and Washington, says the NAWFR.