German wood pellet production hits record high: new wave – UW GROUP

German wood pellet production hits record high: new wave

Wood pellet production in Germany reached a new high in the second quarter, as bark beetle disease across Europe’s forests made significant amounts of damaged timber available to the biomass industry.

Germany produced 760,000t of wood pellets in April-June, a rise of 2.4pc on the quarter and 11.9pc on the year, data from wood pellet industry association DEPV show. Pellet output surpassed the previous record of 742,000t, made in the first quarter.

The growth in Germany’s pellet production lately has largely been driven by the country’s surplus of damaged timber, caused by bark beetle disease, as well as drought and fire to a lesser extent. While the timber can also be used for wood chips or in the panel board industry, the damage does restrict the options for eventual use.

The nature of the infestation means that large quantities of damaged feedstock are expected to be available in Germany and across central Europe for at least the next few years, traders said.

Of Germany’s pellet production, 96.6pc is EN plus-certified A1 grade, DEPV said. But the proportion of sawmill residues used to produce pellets has dropped to 85.8pc — roughly 8pc lower on the year — as more damaged roundwood is used.

Rising production in Germany is supported by an increase in pellet-fired boiler systems. Government subsidies and a ban on oil-fired heating due to come into force in 2026 are encouraging consumers to switch to renewable forms of domestic heating. Sales of pellet-fired boilers in Germany are rising, DEPV said. It predicts the number of pellet-fired installations will reach 1mn by 2030.

And a six-month value-added tax cut in Germany has reduced the cost of pellets for consumers.


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