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On the back burner? Wood for bioenergy, US vs Canada

After a boom last year, Canada’s wood pellet exports are slowing down. What about the US? We analyze the country’s main customers in an interactive chart.

Canadian wood pellet sales used to be consistent year-on-year, hovering above 1.5m tons. Yet in 2016, exports soared by 46 percent. Too much in one go? Exports are down 13 percent in 2017 through August, according to Forisk – still a great score (1.4 million tons) but indicative that growth may end up being more gradual than 2016 alone would suggest.

The same trend does not apply to the US, a much bigger exporter. The US is on track to export 4.9 million tons in 2017, amounting to a 3 percent increase over 2016 volumes. The lion’s share of sales still goes to the UK, which enjoys a solid 82 percent market share – though this year the nation has so far imported less. Instead, growth came from Belgium, the US’s second-largest customer of pellets, thanks to a 75 percent increase year-on-year. The full ranking is below.