USA and Canada increase pellet exports
Pellet producers in British Columbia have been the major exporters since the first shipments 12 years ago but this changed in the second half of 2011 when expanded investments in new capacity in the US South put US shipments on par with Canada.
Six pellet export plants, widely varying in capacity, are now operating in the U.S. South. Four others have shipped trial shipments the past six months and six additional exportoriented pellet plants have been announced, making it highly likely that there will be significant export growth over the next 24 months.
In Eastern Canada, exports in the 4Q/11 remained unchanged from the previous quarter when volumes decline primarily due to the closure of the Enligna pellet plant in Nova Scotia. However, there are plans to re-start the idled plant later this year by a new owner.
In 2012, small increases in volumes from both the U.S. and Canada will likely occur, with more significant export growth due in 2013. At that time, new export-oriented pellet plants now being constructed are scheduled to begin operations.
On the receiving end of pellet exports to Europe, utilities in the Netherlands, the UK, and Belgium continue to be the largest consuming destinations of North American pellets with the UK showing the steadiest and most vigorous growth.
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