As a company in the business of selling wood pellets year round – we are always watching supply/demand fluctuations through the seasons. While it’s scary to think of another wood pellet shortage, it’s impossible to ignore the increasingly tight supply of pellets at the moment.
While demand continued to rise through the 2018-19′ heating season due to increased pellet stove sales and high oil prices, the supply took some serious hits leaving the pellet market in a delicate, vulnerable state.
Aside from the fairly recent series of catastrophic mill fires that crippled production, inventory building has been seriously hindered by weather. Last year’s winter stretched far into spring, which depleted much of the inventory normally built up over the summer. Plus, the extremely wet fall months and bitterly cold November led to historically low levels of raw material and finished product.
While we want to avoid causing a panic – we also want to be honest with our customers about what we’re seeing. For those who remember the winter of 2014, pellet shortages can occur very quickly and without much warning. However, right now the warning signs are glaring. For example, most mills currently have about 20 percent of the inventory as they had last year at this time – and even last year was tight.
In order to stay shortage-proof and avoid inevitable price increases, we strongly recommend you secure your pellet fuel for the next heating season now if you’re able…or at least well in advance.