Canada ships increased volumes of pellets to Asia

Wood pellet shipments from the US South to Europe are up 10% from Q4 2013 to Q2 2014, while exports from Canada have declined 25% during the same period. This is according to the latest issue of the North American Wood Fiber Review.

During the first half of this year, exports of wood pellets from North America reached just over 2.6 million tonnes (around 1.3 million tonnes in each of the two quarters). This is less than the 1.4 million tonne all-time-high recorded in the last quarter of 2013.

Traditionally, almost all of the wood pellets manufactured in British Columbia, Canada are exported to Europe for consumption by the region's energy companies. However, recent market developments mean some of these shipments are being redirected to Asia.

Around 100,000 tonnes of pellets from British Columbia were delivered to South Korea and Japan during the second quarter of this year. This accounted for 17% of the total exports from the province that quarter compared to a quarterly average of only 30,000 tonnes during the period 2010-2012. The review expects this shift to markets in Asia to continue as demand for biomass is rising.

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