Woody biomass in the US South is attracting interest from European energy companies in their search for long-term, reliable and competitively priced supply sources, reports the North American Wood Fiber Review. The increased competition for wood fiber has pushed pine pulpwood prices upward in the Southeastern states this past year. Demand for woody biomass, in the form of wood chips, wood pellets and torrified pellets will increase substantially in Europe over the next ten years, exactly how much though, is unclear as the size of the increase depends on policies and subsidies implemented by governments in individual countries within the EU. The cost of locally sourced biomass on the continent has gone up for many energy plants, resulting in increase interest in importation of wood chips and pellets from neighboring countries or from overseas.
The US South is on the top of the list as a long-term biomass supply source for a number of energy companies. This is because the region has a stable supply of pulpwood, a wellfunctioning infrastructure, and competitive wood fiber costs as compared to most other markets in the world. According to the Wood Resource Quarterly, only Chile and the Western US had lower softwood pulpwood prices than the US South during the 1Q/2010. Hardwood wood fiber prices were well below the global average hardwood price index (GHPI). For the whole news brief, from Wood Resources International LLC, open the file below.