Pulpwood Demand At Near Record; U.S. Wood Pellet Exports Now Even With Canada

Although sawtimber demand remains weak due to the housing slump, two other forest products — pulpwood and wood pellets — are going great guns.

Pulp and paper mills in the U.S. South consumed a near record level of pulpwood in 2010, according to a newly released report of the U.S. Forest Service, and appear to be running strong this year, according to industry leaders.  And while the number of pulp mills in the region has declined in recent years, individual mill production has increased sharply.

In a separate report, wood pellet exports to Europe from North America set a new record in 2011 and the U.S. has pulled even with Canada in these shipments.  The report, compiled by Wood Resources International of Seattle, said six pellet export plants are now operating in the U.S., four others are in the “trial shipment” stage, and plans for six more have been announced.

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