This study examines the three major wood pellet markets in Asia: China, Japan, and South Korea. In contrast to the United States, where most wood pellets are used for residential heating with pellet stoves, a majority of the wood pellets in Asia are used for co-firing at coal-fired power plants. Our analysis indicated that Japan is the largest importer of wood pellets in Asia and that most of the pellets it consumes are used for co-firing at power plants. South Korean wood pellet imports are fairly small; however, South Korea is striving to increase its percentage of renewable energy, which could benefit the wood pellets industry. We found that China, the largest energy consumer in Asia, has an established wood pellet market. However, a majority of these wood pellets are manufactured in China, thus imports are minimal. A consistent factor in these nations is that their governments are promoting renewable energy, leading to policies that are driving demand for wood pellets. As these countries strive to meet their renewable energy targets, their wood pellet consumption is projected to grow.
Roos, Joseph A.; Brackley, Allen, M. 2012. The Asian Wood Pellet Markets. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-861. Portland, OR. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 25 p.