Global Wood Pellet Imports Reach Record $4.5B - Global Trade Magazine
  August 20th, 2021 | Written by

Global Wood Pellet Imports Reach Record $4.5B

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  • In value terms, the U.S. ($982M) remains the largest wood pellets supplier worldwide.
  • In 2020, approx. 26M tonnes of wood pellets were imported worldwide; surging by +4.6%.
  • The UK remains the largest wood pellet importer, accounting for 35% of the total global imports.

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Wood Pellets – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Global wood pellet imports spiked by +9.2% y-o-y to $4.5B, reaching the highest point ever. The UK remains the largest wood pellet importer, accounting for 35% of the total global imports. Among leading importers, the Netherlands saw the most prominent growth of purchases last year. The average import price for wood pellets grew by +4.3% y-o-y in 2020. The U.S., Viet Nam, Canada, Latvia, Russia and Denmark constitute the prime exporters of wood pellets worldwide. 

Wood Pellet Imports by Country

In 2020, approx. 26M tonnes of wood pellets were imported worldwide; surging by +4.6% on the previous year. In value terms, wood pellets imports expanded by +9.2% y-o-y to $4.5B (IndexBox estimates) in 2020.

The UK represented the major importing country with an import of around 9M tonnes, which finished at 35% of total imports. South Korea (3M tonnes) ranks second in terms of the total imports with a 12% share, followed by the Netherlands (11%), Denmark (9.9%), Japan (7.9%) and Italy (7%). The following importers – Belgium (1,135K tonnes) and Latvia (426K tonnes) – together made up 6% of total imports.

Among the largest importers, the Netherlands recorded the highest spike in import value last year. This country ramped up its imports more than twofold, from 1.2M tonnes in 2019 to 2.8M tonnes in 2020.

In value terms, the UK ($1.7B) constitutes the largest market for imported wood pellets worldwide, comprising 38% of global imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by the Netherlands ($518M), with a 11% share of global imports. It was followed by Denmark, with a 9.4% share.

The average wood pellets import price stood at $176 per tonne in 2020, rising by +4.3% against the previous year. There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major importing countries. In 2020, the country with the highest price was Italy ($209 per tonne), while South Korea ($110 per tonne) was amongst the lowest. In 2020, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by the UK, while the other global leaders experienced mixed trends in the import price figures.

Leading Suppliers of Wood Pellets

In 2020, the U.S. (7.3M tonnes), distantly followed by Viet Nam (3.1M tonnes), Canada (2.9M tonnes), Latvia (2.4M tonnes), Russia (2M tonnes) and Denmark (1.4M tonnes) were the key exporters of wood pellets, together comprising 66% of total exports. Estonia (1,070K tonnes), Austria (849K tonnes), Germany (751K tonnes), Malaysia (634K tonnes), Lithuania (610K tonnes), Portugal (603K tonnes) and Belarus (526K tonnes) took a relatively small share of total exports.

In value terms, the U.S. ($982M) remains the largest wood pellets supplier worldwide, comprising 22% of global exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Canada ($407M), with a 9.1% share of global exports. It was followed by Viet Nam, with an 8.7% share.

Source: IndexBox Platform