Data gathered from five East-European countries shows a significant progress in terms of exports for wood pellets.
An analysis shows the number of wood pellets produced inside the European Union to have increased in the last few years. Accordingly, the market experienced a growth of 4,7% in 2015, compared to the previous year’s numbers, and a total output of 14.1 million metric tons. With the largest production numbers of 2 million metric tons coming from Germany, we also see two Eastern European nations in the top 5. Latvia has been identified as the no. 3 producer of wood pellets in the EU, in 2015, with Estonia following at no. 4. This results in immense potential for exports, to neighboring countries and beyond. Authorities recognize the major role Eastern European countries play in supplying its European neighbors with wood pellets, for both residential and industrial thermal use. A couple of large-scale manufacturers, as well as several medium- and small-sized businesses are responsible for the supply. Regarding the actual consumption of wood pellets, the EU managed to go through 20,3 million tons in 2015, more than the Union states actually produced.
Countries part of Eastern Europe have been making a name for themselves, with higher production numbers than in previous years, increasing supply to other member states.
Poland is one of the countries with impressive progress in the production industry. Back in 2003, for instance, the country’s pellets were all going to export. In 2008, the yearly production capacity reached 674.000 tons, from 20 companies. Later, in 2015, around 70 manufacturers were turning out 1,2 million tons of pellets for thermal use. Five of these manufacturers managed to produce more than 50.000 tons each in 2015, 25-30 managed 5.000 tons each and the remaining 35 had an output of under 5.000 tons each. The big company names include Barlinek Inwestycje, PPUH Fabich, IKEA, Stelmet and Tartak Olczyk. Overall, general population and companies consume around 300.000 tons per year, with the remaining being sent to export.
Slovakia is another country with growing exports in the past few years. With much of the country covered in forest, there is high potential for biomass energy. This might not be the case for local use, considering low national demand for pellets, but it definitely benefits exports. Numbers for 2015 place the country’s production between 100.000 and 300.000 tons. Furthermore, the country’s largest pellet manufacturer, myWood Pellets, has a capacity for around 15.000 tons per year.
The Czech Republic, Hungary and Croatia are also important countries in the East, with significant production numbers and exports. Croatia produces between 100.000 and 300.000 tons of pellets per year, Hungary’s numbers come just under 100.000 tons and around 200.000 in the Czech Republic, with an estimate of 300.000 by the chairman of the Czech Pellets Cluster, Vladimír Stupavský.